Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Here’s how a national school bus recall could impact local districts

(WYDaily file/Courtesy of Pixabay)
(WYDaily file/Courtesy of Pixabay)

A company that makes school bus seats for districts across the nation has filed a safety recall report, according to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Association.

SynTec Seating Solutions, which makes the seats, has filed a recall for approximately 1.2 million seats for failing to meet the knee impact requirements.

The seats had a lack of padding on the rear that increased the risk of leg injury in the event of a crash. According to NHTSA, the seats may have been manufactured with styrene blocks which would not provide “sufficient impact absorption” in areas around the steel frame of the back support.

That means the seats fail to comply with requirements under the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 222, “School Bus Passenger Seating and Crash Protection.”

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To solve the issue, SynTec said there should be an increase in padding on the rear of the seat. Through company testing, it was determined the seat is fully functional and compliant when the extra padding is added.

While the issue is being sorted, NHTSA will be monitoring the company and bus owners will be notified of the recall by the bus builder.

That’s part of a recall of approximately 53,528 Thomas Built school buses across the nation that were equipped with the seats, according to NHTSA. The recall is only limited to Thomas Built buses such as the Saf-T-Liner EFX, Minotour, Saf-T-Liner C2, the Saf-T-Liner HDX and buses equipped with SynTec S3B and S3C seats.

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In Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools, spokeswoman Eileen Cox said the district does have buses from Thomas Built in the fleet, but has not received notification that any of them are included in the voluntary recall.

“According to our transportation department, Thomas Built plans to notify school divisions by mid-December,” she said in an email.

Katherine Goff, spokeswoman for York County School Division, said there are no Thomas Built buses part of the recall in the district’s fleet.

Alexa Doiron
Alexa Doironhttp://wydaily.com
Alexa Doiron is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She graduated from Roanoke College and is currently working on a master’s degree in English at Virginia Commonwealth University. Alexa was born and raised in Williamsburg and enjoys writing stories about local flair. She began her career in journalism at the Warhill High School newspaper and, eight years later, still loves it. After working as a news editor in Blacksburg, Va., Alexa missed Williamsburg and decided to come back home. In her free time, she enjoys reading Jane Austen and playing with her puppy, Poe. Alexa can be reached at alexa@localvoicemedia.com.

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