MCI providing full support to NHTSA investigation

In a written statement on Wednesday Motor Coach Industries said it is providing its full support and cooperation to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in its investigation of whether drive shafts on the company’s MCI D-Series motorcoaches can dislodge while in operation and cause drivers to lose control. The Schaumburg, IL-based company said it welcomes the investigation.

Investigators are focusing on 4,000 of the D-Series vehicles with steerable rear axles, manufactured between 1993 and 2012. Various news reports claim the loss of a drive shaft is thought to have caused two fatal crashes.

FirstGroup America, which operates Greyhound, claims several drive shafts became dislodged from MCI buses over the past two years, causing drivers to lose control.

MCI stated that it wanted to clarify what the company believes are misperceptions from recent media articles concerning the NHTSA’s preliminary evaluation of certain MCI D-Series coaches. It said certain articles had inaccurately stated or implied that NHTSA has already made determinations concerning the coaches, when in reality the NHTSA announcement simply relayed what one coach operator has reported to NHTSA, and the fact that NHTSA would be seeking additional information in order to make any determinations.

In a written statement, FirstGroup America said the company proactively reached out to NHTSA and are working closely with the agency on the investigation. It claimed to have inspected all of the company’s coaches and would only permit a vehicle on the road if it were confident it is in proper working condition. The statement reiterated the accident noted was an MCI coach.