Safety Experts Alarmed by Mail Trucks Bursting Into Flames

“Non-crash fires are serious and rare and should always be taken seriously,” said Jason Levine, executive director at the Center for Auto Safety, a consumer-advocacy group.

 

by Cyndia Zwahlen
May 13, 2019 

Mail trucks are bursting into flames at a rate that would trigger a massive recall if they were passenger vehicles.

More than 120 fires have occurred in the past five years, including 12 in the first four months of this year. News and social media photos show the trucks burning intensely, often inches away from trees, cars and, in one case, a gasoline pump in Connecticut.

The incidents of mail trucks fires are on pace this year to double the number that occurred last year. At least one injury, a letter carrier burning his hand, is linked to the fires.

But the U.S. Postal Service keeps operating its fleet of 140,000 custom-made Grumman Long Life Vehicles. It declined to answer Trucks.com requests for information about the causes of the fires and its actions to remedy the problem. The average age of the trucks is now 27.5 years.

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