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Investigation Launched into Deadly Bus Defect

The National Traffic Safety Administration recently launched an investigation into a bus defect which may have caused the wrongful death of two individuals. The investigation follows a complaint filed by the company that operates Greyhound bus lines. Greyhound alleges that buses which were made by Motor Coach Industries Inc. have defective drive shafts which could cause accidents.

Two serious bus accidents have been linked to the drive shaft defect. Greyhound alleges that the drive shafts are not properly held up by safety loops and can fall out while a bus is being operated. The most serious of the two crashes involves a Greyhound bus that crashed in the spring of 2010, killing two and injuring 40.

When a drive shaft falls out of a bus during operation, it can snag on the road below and cause a bus to flip. It is unclear how many of MCI's buses contain the defect or if the defect in fact exists. The implication of this investigation may be huge however because MCI is one of the largest manufacturers of buses in the country.

The NHTSA is investigating the allegations against MCI, which for its part denies that any defect exists. The investigation may result in a safety recall, although no recalls have been issued yet and it is unclear whether a recall is appropriate.

Source: Associated Press, "Feds probe bus defect that may have caused crashes," Tom Krisher, March 26, 2012

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