Daimler Trucks North America announced that Thomas Built Buses is joining other school bus manufacturers in issuing two related NHTSA recalls of Specialty Manufacturing, Inc. (SMI), roof hatches that do not comply with FMVSS 217.
The PROLO roof hatches are installed on nearly 1,500 of the company's Saf-T-Liner C2, EF and HDX school and commercial buses as well as the Minotour small school and commercial buses. The vehicles were manufactured from April 5, 2011 through April 23 of this year.
Daimler said the roof hatches could exceed the federal standard for opening forces because the rear plate assemblies and the nylon rear pop-up support could experience increased friction over time. This could hinder student evacuation in the event of an emergency.
By next month, Thomas Built Buses is notifying affected customers of service kits and repair instructions from SMI, free of charge.