Insufficient Roof Panel Joint Strength – 2011-2023 Thomas Built EFX & HDX School Buses

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October 12, 2022 NHTSA CAMPAIGN NUMBER: 22V762000

Insufficient Roof Panel Joint Strength/FMVSS 221

A school bus exterior roof panel with insufficient joint strength may separate during a crash, increasing the risk of injury.

 

NHTSA Campaign Number: 22V762

Manufacturer Daimler Trucks North America, LLC

Components STRUCTURE

Potential Number of Units Affected 17,613

 

Summary

Daimler Trucks North America, LLC (DTNA) is recalling certain 2011-2023 Thomas Built EFX and HDX school buses. The exterior roof panel was manufactured with insufficient joint strength. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 221, “School Bus Body Joint Strength.”

 

Remedy

Dealers will add additional mechanical fasteners to secure the joints, free of charge. Owner notification letters were mailed June 2, 2023. Owners may contact DTNA customer service at 1-800-547-0712. DTNA’s number for this recall is FL957.

 

Notes

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.nhtsa.gov.

 

Check for Daimler Trucks North America Recalls

 


Subject: Thomas Built Bus Roof Sheet Joint

Models Affected: Specific model years 2011-2023 Thomas Built EFX and HDX school buses manufactured March 1, 2010, through August 1, 2022.

 

General Information

Daimler Truck North America LLC (DTNA), on behalf of its wholly owned subsidiary, Thomas Built Buses, has decided that a defect that relates to motor vehicle safety exists on the vehicles mentioned above.

On the affected vehicles, the adhesive may not have been properly applied in between the steel panels that form the roof sheet lap joints. A body joint on a school bus with insufficient strength may increase the risk of injury in the event of a crash without prior warning.

A Daimler Truck North America authorized service facility will add additional mechanical fasteners to the joints on affected vehicles. The Recall will take approximately five hours and will be performed free of charge.

There are approximately 17,916 vehicles involved in this campaign.

 

Additional Repairs

Dealers must complete all outstanding Recall and Field Service campaigns prior to the sale or delivery of a vehicle. A Dealer will be liable for any progressive damage that results from its failure to complete campaigns before sale or delivery of a vehicle.

Owners may be liable for any progressive damage that results from failure to complete campaigns within a reasonable time after receiving notification.

 

Work Instructions

Please refer to the attached work instructions.

 

Replacement Parts

Replacement parts are now available and can be obtained by ordering the kit and/or part number(s) listed below from your facing Parts Distribution Center.

NOTE: One reusable fixture kit TBB 240564 is required for campaign completion. Order allocation of Qty = 1 per dealer. If additional kit is needed, contact the Customer Assistance Center at 1-855-639-8686, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday.

If our records show your dealership has ordered any vehicle(s) involved in campaign number FL957, a list of the customers and vehicle identification numbers will be available on DTNA Portal. Please refer to this list when ordering parts for this recall.

NOTE: Please note that changes have been made to parts quantity as well as the SRTs. See Table 1 and Table 2.

Table 1 – Replacement Parts for FL957

Campaign Number Part Description Part Number Qty.
FL957A-D SCREW TAPPING NO.12 TBB 69003250 300 pcs

 


Chronology :

In 2010, Thomas Built Buses (TBB) established a new procedure for the exterior roof sheet lap joint adhesion validated to FMVSS 221 requirements through good engineering judgment and analysis. In 2011, TBB validated the roof sheet joint, performing physical testing against FMVSS requirements, and found that the joints passed with considerable margin. From that time until recently, TBB continued to produce the same design, with the same manufacturing process, and therefore had no reason to believe the joint did not comply with the standards.

On September 1, 2022 NHTSA Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance notified TBB that a sample, taken from a Saf-T-Liner HDX school bus that the agency had purchased, failed the FMVSS 221 joint strength test for the exterior roof lap joint. Immediately, on September 2, 2022, based on the testing information provided by NHTSA, TBB began an investigation to evaluate the potential noncompliance, determine the scope, and establish the potentially affected population.

September 9, 2022 TBB requested a visit to NHTSA’s test facility to review findings and the test equipment and procedures.

On September 22, 2022, TBB visited Applus IDIADA Karco Engineering. In late September, 2022 TBB reviewed data from that visit and conducted additional engineering verification testing that suggested previously-unexpected manufacturing variability in joint strength.

On October 6, 2022, TBB promptly decided to initiate a voluntary noncompliance recall for certain Thomas Built Buses HDX and EFX school buses that may be built with roof exterior roof sheet lap joints with improperly applied adhesive, which subsequently may not meet the joint strength requirement of FMVSS 221 S5.1. TBB has received no warranty claims, no field reports, no customer complaints, no information of injury nor fatality, nor any other indication of a noncompliance until NHTSA’s September 2022 notification.

 


26 Affected Products

Vehicles

MAKE MODEL YEAR
THOMAS BUILT BUSES SAF-T-LINER EFX 2011-2023
THOMAS BUILT BUSES SAF-T-LINER HDX 2011-2023

 


11 Associated Documents

Noncompliance Information Report

RMISC-22V762-0791.pdf 587KB

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Recall Acknowledgement

RCAK-22V762-3106.pdf 645.196KB

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Noncompliance Notice 573 Report

RCLRPT-22V762-7552.PDF 214.612KB

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Manufacturer Notices(to Dealers,etc)

RCMN-22V762-2349.pdf 644.212KB

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ISSUED Interim Owner Notification Letter(Part 577)

RIONL-22V762-0644.pdf 141.132KB

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ISSUED Interim Owner Notification Letter(Part 577)

RIONL-22V762-9251.pdf 141.196KB

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Manufacturer Notices(to Dealers,etc)

RCMN-22V762-8721.pdf 1059.541KB

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ISSUED Owner Notification Letter(Part 577)

RCONL-22V762-6173.pdf 222.776KB

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Manufacturer Notices(to Dealers,etc)

RCMN-22V762-4850.pdf 168.85KB

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Manufacturer Notices(to Dealers,etc)

RCMN-22V762-5878.pdf 1177.037KB

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Recall Quarterly Report #1, 2023-2

RCLQRT-22V762-5588.PDF 211.155KB

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Latest Recalls Documents

https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/acms/cs/documentList.xhtml?docId=22V762&docType=RCL

 


 

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