Sutphen has recalled its firetrucks to repair a cable failure that could cause the aerial ladders to collapse while being used, “increasing the risk of injury to a user”, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced. According to Associated Press, the recall began in November and affects trucks from the 2000 to 2014 model years.
Last November, Sutphen recalled 156 aerial platform trucks from model years 2000 through 2011 because the ladder could retract unexpectedly. The company issued another recall in July. Hours before the recall was issued, one of the ladders being used in Hall County, Ga. retracted more than 20 feet and jammed, injuring three firefighters. Three firefighters were also injured a month earlier in Erie, Pa when their aerial platform rapidly descended.
The NHTSA announced it was investigating the issue in August 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” and is undertaking a thorough review of the equipment and the 2013 remedy.
In the 2013 recall, the company said that ball bears could seize and cause the cables running over them to chafe and fail. The July 2014 and November 2013 recalls both involved the SPH100, SPI112 and SAI110.