Friday, August 10, 2007

 

FEMA: FLIP/FLOP FLIP/FLOP

RV Business
Friday, August 10, 2007

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will cease using travel trailers to house disaster victims and will buy back any surplus trailers sold to the public as recreational vehicles, according to a report in the Jackson (Miss.) Clarion Ledger.

"FEMA will refund the purchase price of any recreational vehicle sold, within the last 12 months, directly to an occupant, upon repossession of the unit," FEMA Administrator David Paulison wrote his staff in a recent memo.

Many hurricane Katrina and Rita victims still are living in travel trailers because they can't find or afford alternative housing. Many are concerned elevated levels of formaldehyde in the trailers and mobile homes have made many inhabitants sick, and some are taking legal action.

FEMA last week announced it would stop selling surplus trailers - those vacated by storm victims who found better housing - through the General Services Administration, which serves as the federal government's supplier. But FEMA did not tell the public it has decided to buy back surplus trailers, which Paulison said were sold at a rate of about 1,200 a week.

"The reasons we have not made that public are mainly because we're in the process of determining how this process is going to work," said FEMA spokesman Aaron Walker. "We didn't want to make the announcement and then receive myriad calls but have no information on how we were proceeding."

Paulison also wrote that FEMA "will not continue to offer recreational vehicles as a temporary housing option in future disasters." He urged FEMA officials to "develop and implement an aggressive program" to move thousands of trailer and mobile home residents in Mississippi and Louisiana into rental apartments.

FEMA has asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop a way to test the trailers to determine their toxicity.

Formaldehyde is a toxic chemical that is released by many construction materials, including plywood and spray-on insulating foam. It is a naturally occurring chemical, but in elevated levels it can cause headaches, burning eyes and throats, nausea and difficulty breathing.

 

RECALL

Make / Models : Model/Build Years:
FCCC / CX-R 2003-2008
FCCC / VCL 2003-2008
FCCC / XB-R 2003-2008
FCCC / XC 2003-2008
FCCC / XC-F 2003-2008
FCCC / XC-L 2003-2008
FCCC / XC-P 2003-2008
Manufacturer : FREIGHTLINER LLC
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number : 07V343000 Mfr's Report Date : JUL 23, 2007
Component: STEERING:GEAR BOX:SHAFT PITMAN
Potential Number Of Units Affected : 6227
Summary:
CERTAIN MOTOR HOME CHASSIS EQUIPPED WITH ZF MODEL 8018 STEERING GEARS MAY HAVE BEEN ASSEMBLED WITH THE INCORRECT RECIRCULATING BALL SPACER. THIS COULD POTENTIALLY ALLOW THE RECIRCULATING BALLS TO ESCAPE FROM THE RECIRCULATING BALL CIRCUIT RESULTING IN A LOSS OF STEERING.
Consequence:
THE OPERATOR MAY NOTICE HIGHER REQUIRED STEERING WHEEL INPUTS, OR THE NEED FOR MORE STEERING WHEEL ADJUSTMENTS WHILE DRIVING IN A STRAIGHT LINE IN COMBINATION WITH METALLIC CRACKING NOISES PRIOR TO A LOSS OF STEERING. LOSS OF STEERING COULD RESULT IN A VEHICLE CRASH.
Remedy:
DEALERS WILL REPLACE THE STEERING GEAR FREE OF CHARGE. THE RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN ON OR ABOUT SEPTEMBER 23, 2007. OWNERS MAY CONTACT FREIGHTLINER AT 1-800-547-0712.
Notes:
FREIGHTLINER RECALL NO. FL-509. CUSTOMERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION┬┐S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.

 

RECALL

Make / Models : Model/Build Years:
COACHMEN / SPORTSCOACH ELITE 2007
Manufacturer : COACHMEN RV COMPANY, LLC
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number : 07V341000 Mfr's Report Date : AUG 06, 2007
Component: ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING:ENGINE:DIESEL
Potential Number Of Units Affected : 49
Summary:
ON CERTAIN MOTOR COACHES BUILT WITH CUMMINS ISL CM850 DIESEL ENGINES, THE CONNECTING ROD CONTAINS A MACHINING DEFECT IN THE WRIST PIN BUSHING OF THE ROD THAT COULD CAUSE A SEIZURE OF THE PISTON PIN.
Consequence:
IF ALLOWED TO PROGRESS, THIS CAN LEAD TO ENGINE FAILURE WITH THE POSSIBILITY OF THE ROD RUPTURING THE LOCK CAVITY, SPILLING OIL AND DEBRIS ONTO THE ROADWAY INCREASING THE RISK OF A CRASH.
Remedy:
COACHMEN IS WORKING WITH CUMMINS TO RECALIBRATE THE ENGINE CONTROL MODULE AND ENHANCE THE ENGINE PROTECTION SYSTEM ENABLING IT TO PROVIDE EARLY DETECTION OF THE FAILURE MODE AND AVOID MORE SERIOUS ENGINE DAMAGE AND RESULTANT SAFETY HAZARD. CUMMINS WILL ALSO INSTALL A NEW VALVE COVER WITH A CRANKCASE PRESSURE SENSOR FREE OF CHARGE (PLEASE SEE 07E033). OWNERS MAY CONTACT CUMMINS AT 1-800-343-7357 OR COACHMEN AT 1-574-825-8528.
Notes:
CUSTOMERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.

 

RECALL

Make / Models : Model/Build Years:
FORETRAVEL / NIMBUS 334 2006
FORETRAVEL / NIMBUS 336 2007
FORETRAVEL / NIMBUS 340 2007
Manufacturer : FORETRAVEL, INC.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number : 07V340000 Mfr's Report Date : JUN 06, 2007
Component: ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING:ENGINE:DIESEL
Potential Number Of Units Affected : 9
Summary:
ON CERTAIN MOTOR COACHES BUILT WITH CUMMINS ISL CM850 DIESEL ENGINES, THE CONNECTING ROD CONTAINS A MACHINING DEFECT IN THE WRIST PIN BUSHING OF THE ROD THAT COULD CAUSE A SEIZURE OF THE PISTON PIN.
Consequence:
IF ALLOWED TO PROGRESS, THIS CAN LEAD TO ENGINE FAILURE WITH THE POSSIBILITY OF THE ROD RUPTURING THE LOCK CAVITY, SPILLING OIL AND DEBRIS ONTO THE ROADWAY INCREASING THE RISK OF A CRASH.
Remedy:
FORETRAVEL IS WORKING WITH CUMMINS TO RECALIBRATE THE ENGINE CONTROL MODULE AND ENHANCE THE ENGINE PROTECTION SYSTEM ENABLING IT TO PROVIDE EARLY DETECTION OF THE FAILURE MODE AND AVOID MORE SERIOUS ENGINE DAMAGE AND RESULTANT SAFETY HAZARD. CUMMINS WILL ALSO INSTALL A NEW VALVE COVER WITH A CRANKCASE PRESSURE SENSOR FREE OF CHARGE (PLEASE SEE 07E033). OWNERS MAY CONTACT CUMMINS AT 800-343-7357 OR FORETRAVEL AT 936-564-8367.
Notes:
CUSTOMERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.

 

RECALL

Make / Models : Model/Build Years:
AIRSTREAM / BASE CAMP 2006-2008
Manufacturer : AIRSTREAM, INC.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number : 07V339000 Mfr's Report Date : AUG 01, 2007
Component: EQUIPMENT:OTHER:LABELS
Potential Number Of Units Affected : 157
Summary:
CERTAIN TRAVEL TRAILERS FAIL TO COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 110, "TIRE SELECTION AND RIMS FOR MOTOR VEHICLES." THE TIRE INFLATION PRESSURE LABEL ON THE ROADSIDE FRONT OF THE VEHICLE HAS INCORRECT AIR PRESSURE INFORMATION. IN ADDITION, THE TIRE, RIM AND TIRE PRESSURE INFORMATION IN THE OWNERS MANUAL IS INCORRECT.
Consequence:
AN OVER-INFLATED TIRE COULD BLOW OUT, CAUSING THE TRAILER TO SWAY UNCONTROLLABLY INCREASING THE RISK OF A CRASH.
Remedy:
AIRSTREAM WILL MAIL TO THE OWNERS A CORRECTED TIRE INFLATION PRESSURE LABEL AND A LABEL WITH CORRECT TIRE INFORMATION TO BE PLACED IN THE OWNER'S MANUAL OVER THE INCORRECT INFORMATION ALONG WITH INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS. IF AN OWNER IS UNCOMFORTABLE INSTALLING EITHER LABEL, THEY CAN TAKE THEIR TRAILER TO A DEALER TO HAVE THE LABELS INSTALLED. THE MANUFACTURER HAS NOT YET PROVIDED AN OWNER NOTIFICATION SCHEDULE. OWNERS CAN CALL AIRSTREAM AT 1-519-262-2600.
Notes:
CUSTOMERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.

 

RECALL

Make / Models : Model/Build Years:
STARCRAFT / 11RT 2007
STARCRAFT / 13RT 2007
STARCRAFT / 14RT 2007
Manufacturer : STARCRAFT RV, INC.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number : 07V337000 Mfr's Report Date : MAY 30, 2007
Component: STRUCTURE: FRAME AND MEMBERS:UNDERBODY SHIELDS
Potential Number Of Units Affected : 70
Summary:
ON CERTAIN CAMPING TRAILERS EQUIPPED WITH DEXTER CHASSIS FRAMES, THE FRAMES WERE "NOTCHED" TO ACCOMMODATE THE FITTING OF THE COUPLER. IT IS BELIEVED THAT THE FRAMES COULD BE WEAKENED IN THIS AREA.
Consequence:
A CRACKED FRAME CAN CAUSE THE FRAME TO BOW DOWNWARD INCREASING THE RISK OF A CRASH.
Remedy:
STARCRAFT IS WORKING WITH DEXTER CHASSIS TO REPAIR THESE FRAMES. DEXTER WILL WELD ADD A STEEL REINFORCEMENT UNDERNEATH THE COUPLER AND OVER THE NOTCHED AREA OF FRAME, THUS MAKING THIS AREA STRONGER. THE RECALL BEGAN DURING JUNE 2007. OWNERS MAY CONTACT DEXTER AT 1-800-669-7681 OR STARCRAFT AT 260-593-2550.
Notes:
CUSTOMERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

 

THEY ARE THE ONES THAT BUILT THEM!

RV Business
Thursday, August 9, 2007

Thousands of Louisiana residents displaced by hurricanes Katrina and Rita were exposed to dangerous levels of formaldehyde by living in poorly constructed, government-issued trailers and mobile homes, a newly filed federal lawsuit alleges.

The Associated Press reported that the suit, filed Tuesday (Aug. 7) on behalf of more than 500 trailer and mobile home occupants in Louisiana, accuses several trailer manufacturers of using inferior building materials in a profit-driven rush to build trailers for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

FEMA, which isn't named as a defendant in the suit, has agreed to have the air quality tested in some of the trailers that have been occupied by Gulf Coast residents since the 2005 hurricanes.

The agency also has temporarily suspended the sale and deployment of trailers while federal authorities probe allegations that formaldehyde fumes in trailers are responsible for occupants' illnesses.

In Washington last month, House lawmakers released documents that indicate FEMA lawyers discouraged the agency from investigating whether its trailers had dangerous formaldehyde levels.

Katrina and Rita have spawned several lawsuits in Louisiana that seek to certify class actions against FEMA trailer manufacturers for allegedly jeopardizing the health of occupants.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in New Orleans by a Galveston, Texas-based law firm accuses trailer makers of cutting corners in order to quickly fill a trailer shortage after the storms.

Only 14,000 trailers were available when the federal government contracted to purchase more than 100,000 units of temporary housing after Katrina and Rita, according to the lawsuit. To meet that demand, manufacturers set up assembly lines and produced trailers in as little as 10 minutes, the suit alleges.

"This was done without the benefits of Defendants' usual quality control," states the 63-page lawsuit, which isn't seeking class-action certification.

Trailer makers also allegedly used wood and adhesives that emit high levels of formaldehyde because they couldn't find enough material from their "usual suppliers of low-formaldehyde emitting material," the suit claims.

Trailer makers were in a "rush to profit from a disaster without regard for safety," said Anthony Buzbee, a lawyer for the more than 500 Louisiana plaintiffs.

Fourteen companies that supplied FEMA with trailers are named as defendants in the suits. Messages left with several of those companies weren't immediately returned.

FEMA spokesman Aaron Walker declined to comment on the lawsuit. He referred to congressional testimony last month by FEMA chief R. David Paulison, who apologized to the trailer occupants and said the agency "made the best decisions it could with the information it had."

Buzbee said his firm also plans to file suit against trailer makers on behalf of about 650 trailer occupants in Mississippi and 200 in eastern Texas.

"The manufacturers are the ones who have the expertise. They're the ones who built these trailers, which in some cases had four times the maximum allowable level of formaldehyde in them," Buzbee added.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

 

RECALL

Make / Models : Model/Build Years:
KEYSTONE / NRG 2007
Manufacturer : KEYSTONE RV COMPANY
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number : 07V332000 Mfr's Report Date : JUN 21, 2007
Component: EQUIPMENT:RECREATIONAL VEHICLE
Potential Number Of Units Affected : 16
Summary:
ON CERTAIN TRAVEL TRAILERS EQUIPPED WITH SUBURBAN THREE BURNER MATCH LIGHT GAS RANGES, THE OVEN THERMOSTAT CONTROL VALVE CAN ALLOW GAS FLOW TO THE OVEN BURNER WHEN THE OVEN CONTROL KNOB IS PUSHED IN AND NOT FULLY IN THE CORRECT POSITION TO LIGHT THE PILOT.
Consequence:
IF THE OVEN CONTROL KNOB WAS DEPRESSED FOR SOME TIME BEFORE LIGHTING THE PILOT LIGHT, THE EXCESS GAS IN THE OVEN COULD CAUSE A FLASH AT THE OPENING OF THE OVEN, POSSIBLY RESULTING IN PERSONAL INJURY.
Remedy:
KEYSTONE IS WORKING WITH SUBURBAN TO REPLACE THE OVEN THERMOSTAT CONTROL FREE OF CHARGE. THE RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN DURING AUGUST 2007. OWNERS MAY CONTACT SUBURBAN AT 1-423-775-2131 OR KEYSTONE AT 574-537-3925.
Notes:
KEYSTONE RECALL NO. 07-089. CUSTOMERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.

 

RECALL

Make / Models : Model/Build Years:
KEYSTONE / FUZION 2007-2008
Manufacturer : KEYSTONE RV COMPANY
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number : 07V330000 Mfr's Report Date : JUL 20, 2007
Component: EQUIPMENT:RECREATIONAL VEHICLE:LPG WATER HEATER
Potential Number Of Units Affected : 596
Summary:
CERTAIN FIFTH WHEEL RECREATIONAL TRAILERS MAY HAVE INCORRECT WIRING TO THE WATER HEATER. IF THE WIRING IS INCORRECT, THE GAS VALVE ON THE WATER HEATER COULD OPEN AND ALLOW LIQUID PROPANE (LP) GAS INTO THE BURNER TUBE WHEN THE ELECTRIC SWITCH IS TURNED ON.
Consequence:
THIS COULD CAUSE AN INCREASED RISK OF FIRE, EXPLOSIONS, AND PERSONAL INJURY.
Remedy:
DEALERS WILL INSPECT THE WIRING AND MAKE CORRECTIONS IF NECESSARY. THE RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN ON OR ABOUT AUGUST 2, 2007. OWNERS MAY CONTACT KEYSTONE RV AT 1-866- 425-4369.
Notes:
KEYSTONE RECALL NO. 07-088. CUSTOMERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.

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