School bus manufacturer to recall small buses

DATE Rae Tyson, a spokesman for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, said Transportation Collaborative Inc. of Warwick, N.Y., would recall 5,925 school buses stemming from 15 separate recalls that date back to 2001.

The recalls were issued nationwide for school buses built by U.S. Bus Corp. of Suffern, N.Y., from 2001 to 2007 to address seat back and restraining barriers that failed to meet minimum strength requirements and other potential safety problems.

Transportation Collaborative, or TCI, purchased the assets of U.S. Bus in November 2007. TCI currently conducts business under the name Trans Tech Bus.

Government regulators contend TCI failed to complete the 15 recall campaigns initiated by U.S. Bus. In an unusual step, NHTSA planned to hold a hearing Friday on whether TCI had attempted to avoid carrying out the 15 recalls by changing the name of the company.

NHTSA argued that TCI was liable for completing the recalls and said U.S. Bus and TCI "have continuity of ownership, management, personnel, assets and general business operations."

Dan Daniels, president of Trans Tech Bus, declined to immediately comment and said in an e-mail that TCI would issue a news release within the next couple of days. NHTSA has canceled Friday's hearing because of the agreement.

According to a settlement agreement, TCI agreed to pay the government $20,000 "without NHTSA making any formal findings with respect to TCI's violations of the Vehicle Safety Act as to the implementation of the fifteen recalls." If the company fails to complete the recalls, it faces a civil penalty of $100,000, the government said.

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