More than 100 postal vehicle fires have been reported – but the distinctive mail carriers have yet to be recalled. The antiquated Grumman LLVs that are used by the U.S. Postal Service are reportedly bursting into flames at an alarming rate. According to a news report, there have been more than 120 reports of these ubiquitous white USPS mail vans catching fire. Of those incidents, 12 fires occurred recently, between January and April of this year. The LLV had a production run from 1987 to 1994. Ince then, the postal service has been keeping the vehicles alive and on the road.
Postal Vehicle Fires Investigated
These vehicles are based on the Chevrolet S10 chassis. They are powered by General Motors’ Iron Duke four-cylinder engine, which is bolted to a three-speed automatic transmission. USPS currently maintains a fleet of 140,000 LLVs across the country. But, according to Trucks.com, the agency launched an inquiry into the LLV fires in 2014 and then retained the services of an engineering firm to delve into the root cause of these fires. However, the results of the investigation were said to be “inconclusive.”
USPS officials say they are on the verge of selecting a replacement for the LLV. They say the chosen replacement will meet all Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. USPS is currently in the process of procuring the new vehicles, which will likely become part of the fleet by 2022, officials said. So far, the USPS has not reported any deaths from the vehicle fires. However, one injury has been confirmed, with a mail carrier suffering a burned hand. In addition, the 120 fires over five years have caused property damage, including damage to mail.
Will NHTSA Issue a Recall?
There is no report of any pending investigations as a result of these postal vehicle fires. It is also not clear at this point if the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will intervene and force a recall, or what such a recall might look like. It is worth noting that USPS will not be rolling out the new trucks until after 2022. Until then, mail carriers will be exposed to the dangers posed by these postal vehicle fires.
As auto defect lawyers who fight for the rights of injured victims and their families, we urge NHTSA to look into what is causing these fires before someone gets seriously injured. Vehicle fires have the potential to result in catastrophic injuries. They could even prove fatal If you have been injured as a result of a defective auto, please contact an experienced auto defect attorney for more information about pursuing your legal rights.