The Ministry of Transportation and Communications on Friday said that it had recalled a further 471 tour buses to check their roadworthiness, whether their seats were installed correctly and for possible flaws in their seat designs.
The tour buses were produced by different companies, including Jiu Ding Automobile Co and Shung Ye Group, which builds the chassis for several coach models, the ministry said.
There was concern that the coaches produced by these companies could have similar problems in their designs, after passenger seats were found to have detached in two separate bus crashes in 2018 and last year, the ministry said.
The tour buses are not allowed to operate and must undergo safety checks before April 15.
Chou Wei-kuo (周維果), who heads the Vehicle Safety Certification Center, said that inspections would include whether the seats installed in the buses comply with manufacturer specifications, and most importantly, if they were installed properly and fastened securely.
A day earlier, the ministry announced that it was recalling 718 tour buses of the same model as one that crashed on the Suhua Highway in eastern Taiwan on Tuesday last week, as an initial investigation found that there might be problems with the design of that model, which was manufactured by Ming Sheng Co.
The Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash which left six people dead and 39 injured.
The safety board said that some of the seats broke loose during the crash, even though the vehicle was not traveling fast, which indicated a possible design problem.
Road worthiness checks on the buses would be completed before the Tomb Sweeping Day long weekend on Thursday and Friday, and based on the findings, the board would advise the ministry on what step to take next, Deputy Minister of Transportation and Communications Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材) said.
So far 1,189 tour buses have been recalled by the ministry.
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