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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation H-07-009
Synopsis: On September 23, 2005, a 1998 Motor Coach Industries, Inc., 54-passenger motorcoach, operated by Global Limo Inc. (Global), of Pharr, Texas, was traveling northbound on Interstate 45 (I-45) near Wilmer, Texas. The motorcoach, en route from Bellaire to Dallas, Texas, as part of the evacuation in anticipation of Hurricane Rita, was carrying 44 assisted living facility residents and nursing staff. The trip had begun about 3:00 p.m. on September 22. Fifteen hours later, about 6:00 a.m. on the following day, a motorist noticed that the right-rear tire hub was glowing red and alerted the motorcoach driver, who stopped in the left traffic lane and then proceeded to the right shoulder of I-45 near milepost 269.5. The driver and nursing staff exited the motorcoach and observed flames emanating from the right-rear wheel well. As they initiated an evacuation of the motorcoach, with assistance from passersby, heavy smoke and fire quickly engulfed the entire vehicle. Twenty-three passengers were fatally injured. Of the 21 passengers who escaped, 2 were seriously injured and 19 received minor injuries; the motorcoach driver also received minor injuries.
Recommendation: TO MOTOR COACH INDUSTRIES, INC.: Revise your product maintenance manuals to emphasize the importance of wheel bearing lubrication, specifically warning that daily inspection of hub oil levels and wheel seals is vital to prevent wheel bearing failure and that bypassing this requirement is a dangerous practice that can lead to a wheel well fire or other serious consequences.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Unacceptable Action - No Response Received
Mode: Highway
Location: Wilmer, TX, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Accident #: hwy05mh035
Accident Reports: Motorcoach Fire on Interstate 45 During Hurricane Rita Evacuation
Report #: HAR-07-01
Accident Date: 9/23/2005
Issue Date: 6/27/2007
Date Closed: 7/29/2014
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: Motor Coach Industries International, Inc. (Closed - Unacceptable Action - No Response Received)
Keyword(s): Fire, Maintenance

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: Motor Coach Industries International, Inc.
Date: 7/29/2014
Response: In the 7 years since we issued these recommendations, you have not responded to us regarding them, despite our repeated requests for information. Since we have received no information regarding any actions you have taken to address Safety Recommendations H-07-9 through -11, they are classified CLOSED—UNACCEPTABLE ACTION/ NO RESPONSE RECEIVED. If you have taken the recommended actions, please contact us; if we receive such information soon, we will consider reclassifying these safety recommendations.

From: NTSB
To: Motor Coach Industries International, Inc.
Date: 10/30/2013
Response: We are interested in knowing whether and how our recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the traveling public is provided the highest level of safety and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others. Therefore, please inform us about the status of actions to implement Safety Recommendations H-01-12 and -13 and H-07-9 through -11.