Friday, August 02, 2013

JCPS sues school bus manufacturer over 400 "Lemons"

This from the Courier-Journal:
Saying it was sold nearly 400 “lemons,” Jefferson County Public Schools is suing a national school bus manufacturer over “major maintenance” issues involving nearly 400 buses that district officials say have cost the district more than $1 million in out-of-pocket repairs.
rust on the bottom of a JCPS school bus

The lawsuit, filed Friday in Jefferson Circuit Court against Delaware-based Navistar International Inc. and it’s Kentucky-based dealer Bluegrass International, seeks reimbursement for those repairs, in addition to future damages the district expects to incur through additional maintenance costs.

The district spent paid $32 million for the 396 school buses from Bluegrass International purchased between 2005 and 2011. Typically, the district says its buses typically remain in service about 15 years before they need to be replaced, but with the problems being caused by this crop of buses, they will likely need to retired much sooner.

“These buses have not lived up to the warranties that were made when we purchased them,” said Byron Leet, an attorney representing JCPS. “They are not going to last as long as they should have lasted, the district has spent a considerable amount of time and money on them, and the damages are continuing as time progresses.”

District officials say despite the maintenance problems being caused by faulty engines and other issues, the buses are still safe to transport students and they don’t expect any of the issues to prevent the buses from being used as the first day of school approaches on Aug. 20.

“The buses pose no safety threat to our student because of the extensive preventative maintenance that we are having to perform on them,” said Michael Raisor, chief operating officer for JCPS. “This is a service and reliability issue -- we are spending twice the amount of time as we should on these buses and we’ve spent over $1 million out of pocket so far to fix them.”

Steve Schrier, a spokesman with Navistar International, said Friday his company does not comment on pending litigation.

According to its website, Navistar is a leading manufacturer of commercial trucks, buses, defense vehicles and engines; it says its buses transport 26 million children to and from school daily.


Anonymous said...

396 lemons over a six year period? Come on, that doesn't make any sense. Why would a company knowingly sell "lemons" to one of its biggest buyers? Equally, why would JCPS keep buying these "lemons" from the company over a six year period if they were having these problems?

Are other schools reporting similar short commings because if so, it hasn't been publically reported.

Sounds to me like there is as much a problem at the garage (or maybe its financial books or staffing records) as there is with the buses. Maybe somebody in house started questioning why the maintenance staff was getting paid twice as much as in the past. Worse yet maybe they were reporting the hours and not doing the required work which resulted in the mass failure of hundreds of buses from what is generally considered a reliable vendor.

We need to send the Commissioner down to JCPS bus garages and check for possible transportation genocide.

Francisco Carrillo said...

This is still an existing problem all over the US with the MaxxForce7 engine. The problem is the type of exhaust filtering regeneration that is done inside the engine resulting in fuel traveling down to oul pan.all international is doing is ECM updates, they know the problem. They know they need to remove the regeneration system and install it outside of the engine. But they wont admit it and they wont ever repair it. The whole developing team has been fired and now international is replacing this engines with an outside vendor, Cummins.