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Some Isuzu tour buses recalled for safety checks after deadly crash

Some Isuzu tour buses recalled for safety checks after deadly crash

Taipei, Dec. 11 (CNA) Taiwan's Directorate General of Highways has asked the local representative of Japanese automobile manufacturer Isuzu to recall a random 20 percent of its KC-NQR70PBL tour buses that are five years or older, deputy head of the agency Chen Mao-nan said Tuesday. The buses should be pulled off the road for safety checks in light of a fatal accident Sunday that left 13 passengers dead and 10 injured, Chen said at a press conference hosted by Kuomintang legislators. The Isuzu KC-NQR70PBL tour bus, carrying 22 passengers, slid backward off a mountain road in Hsinchu County and fell some 300 meters into a ravine. It was reported that the bus brakes had failed after the engine shut down suddenly on the uphill drive. It was the same model as one that overturned on a precipitous road in Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien County in May, with 13 Korean tourists on board, according to Chen. In that case, the brakes also failed after the engine shut down, and the bus slid backward, he added.
He said for safety's sake, the Taiwan representative of Isuzu has been asked to recall a random 20 percent of its KC-NQR70PBL buses five years and older in order to check whether there is a problem with the engine or brake systems. "It could be human error or a mechanical problem," Chen said. Tour bus accidents could also be caused by environmental factors, he said, adding that his agency will also check the safety of all roads leading to major tourist sites around the country. He said an investigation into Sunday's accident is being conducted and will be completed in two weeks time. Until then, a full recall order will not be issued for the bus model, he said. There are 193 Isuzu KC-NQR70PBL buses five years or older in Taiwan, according to Chen. Earlier in the day, Minister of Transportation and Communications Mao Chi-kuo said during a visit to Hualien County that all large and medium-size buses should be tested during regular vehicle inspections to see whether the brake system works after the engine is shut down. Currently, that particular test is not mandatory in Taiwan's vehicle inspections for licensing. (By Chen Wei-ting, Wang Shu-fen, Lin Shen-hsu and Elizabeth Hsu)


Updated : 2021-10-22 12:40 GMT+08:00