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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation H-05-011
Synopsis: These recommendations address inspections of motorcoach passenger seating anchorage points and performance standards for motorcoach passenger seating anchorages. The recommendations are derived from the Safety Board’s investigation of the motorcoach run-offthe-road accident that took place in Tallulah, Louisiana, on October 13, 2003, and are consistent with the evidence we found and the analysis we performed. As a result of this investigation, the Safety Board has issued 11 safety recommendations, 2 of which are addressed to Neoplan USA Corporation (Neoplan). Information supporting these recommendations is discussed below. The Safety Board would appreciate a response from you within 90 days addressing the actions you have taken or intend to take to implement our recommendations.
Recommendation: The National Transportation Safety Board makes the following safety recommendations to Neoplan USA Corporation: Until the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration develops performance standards for passenger seat anchorages in motorcoaches, as recommended in Safety Recommendation H-05-01, substantially increase the load capacity of the passenger seat anchor systems in your newly manufactured motorcoaches so that the seats will not become detached during frontal impact collisions, side impact collisions, rear impact collisions, and rollovers.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Highway
Location: Tallulah, LA, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Accident #: hwy04mh002
Accident Reports: Motorcoach Run-Off-The-Road Accident
Report #: HAR-05-01
Accident Date: 10/13/2003
Issue Date: 4/27/2005
Date Closed: 5/24/2006
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: Neoplan U.S.A. Corporation (Closed - Acceptable Action)

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: Neoplan U.S.A. Corporation
Date: 5/24/2006
Response: The Safety Board notes that Neoplan changed its seat anchorage system for new transit buses to one using six t-bolts to anchor the seat to the floor, as opposed to the four t-bolts used on the accident vehicle, and to one that bolts the seat frame directly to the wall rather than fastening it to a wall anchor with a compression clamp (as on the accident vehicle). Neoplan indicated that it developed an enhanced t-bolt fastener for passenger seat anchorages to be installed in all of its new model buses, and recommends in Service Bulletin No. 25-316 that the original t-bolt seat fasteners be replaced with the new design. The service bulletin also recommends routine maintenance and inspection of passenger seat fasteners. The Board has recently learned that Neoplan is no longer manufacturing buses and will soon be going out of business. Nevertheless, given that Neoplan developed and recommended use of a t-bolt with increased strength for its buses, Safety Recommendation H-05-11 is classified "Closed-Acceptable Action."

From: Neoplan U.S.A. Corporation
Date: 7/26/2005
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 7/28/2005 3:51:27 PM MC# 2050362 As noted in our response to the NTSB's Safety Recommendation Number 1, Neoplan does not currently use the seat anchorage design that was found on the subject vehicle. Neoplan's current seat anchorage design is stronger in terms of load capacity than that at issue in the 1992 Neoplan Cityliner. For example, Neoplan's current transit vehicles have a seat anchorage system with 6 t-bolts anchoring the seat to the floor, as opposed to four on the Cityliner. This results in a dispersion of loads significantly reducing the load on individual fasteners. Further, we now bolt the seat frame directly to the wall, whereas the Cityliner anchorage system used a compression clamp to fasten the seat frame to the wall anchor. Accordingly, Neoplan believes that it is already in compliance with the NTSB's second safety recommendation. Nevertheless, because of the NTSB's concerns about the strength of the individual t-bolts used in Neoplan vehicles, Neoplan is in the process of developing a t-bolt with increased strength which we will use in all new models. This improved t-bolt will have the following characteristics: Old Design Enhanced Design Material C1010. SAE grade 2. To meet or exceed C1038 heat-treated to SAE grade 5.2. Minimum Tensile Strength: 74,000 psi Tensile Strength: 120,000 psi Strength Yield Strength: 57,000 psi Yield Strength: 92,000 psi Requirements Flange 0.130 IN 0.180 IN Thickness Increasing this dimension increases the force required to deform the flange. In the Service Bulletin, we are recommending that owners of the Cityliner model replace existing t-bolts with the new t-bolt. Please do not hesitate to call the undersigned should you have any comments or questions. I can be reached at 303.563.8229. To the extent you or your staff need technical information, I will be happy to put you in contact with the appropriate Neoplan engineer.