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After Firefighters are Injured, Recall Issued to Repair Faulty Sutphen Firetruck Ladder

Dec 17, 2014

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that Sutphen has recalled its firetrucks to repair a cable issue that can cause the aerial ladders to collapse suddenly, “increasing the risk of injury to a user”. The recall began in November and affects trucks from the 2000 to 2014 model years, Associated Press reports.

Sutphen recalled 156 aerial platform trucks from model years 2000 through 2011 last November because the ladder could retract unexpectedly. In July, the company issued a second recall. Hours before the recall was issued, three firefighters were injured in Hall County, GA when one of the ladders retracted more than 20 feet and jammed. Three firefighters were also injured a month earlier in Erie, PA when their aerial platform quickly collapsed.

Sutphen said that ball bears could seize and cause the cables running over them to chafe and fail in the November 2013 recall. In both recalls, the affected models include the SPH100, SPI112 and SAI110.

In August, NHTSA announced it was investigating the issue to determine whether the repair for the 2013 recall was adequate. Trucks from the 2000 to 2012 model years are affected by the investigation. Drew Sutphen, company president, stated on the website that fire departments should not use the ladders until further notice. The statement said the company has “voluntarily removed all 5-Section Aerial Devices (SPH 100, SP 110, SPI 112, and SAI 110) from service”. He stated that the company is thoroughly reviewing the equipment and 2013 repair.

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