The AP reports that a deadly crash in Batavia, Ohio involving a 12-ton semi-trailer that got detached from its tractor and two other pickup trucks whose drivers were killed prompted the NHTSA to raise the possibility that the hitch might have been defective, after local authorities initially faulted the truck driver for failing to inspect and secure it. Despite efforts to expedite cases and reform the agency, the NHTSA continues to face scrutiny due to its “inability to connect the dots,” says Sean Kane, president of Safety Research and Strategies. The agency opened an investigation into the hitches after Fontaine said it wanted to replace all 6,000 of them for “non-safety” reasons and found 12 complaints about the hitches, plus one crash with no injuries. The Detroit Bureau too reports on criticism against the NHTSA for failing to catch “a series of deadly defects – including the flawed General Motors ignition switch blamed for over 100 deaths – federal regulators may have missed yet another fatal flaw,” in addition to the “potentially defective hitch used on as many as 6,000 semi-trucks plying US highways.”
From the news release of the American Association for Justice.