VAN-CON HAS NOTIFIED NHTSA OF A DEFECT IN CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2008-2009 HANDICAP SCHOOL BUSES BUILT ON FORD AND CHEVY CHASSIS, FITTED WITH RICON PUBLIC USE LIFTS. THE RESTRAINT BELT ON THESE LIFTS WAS DESIGNED TO PREVENT THE LIFT FROM MOVING, UNLESS THE TONGUE OF THE BELT IS FULLY ENGAGED AND LATCHED IN THE BUCKLE. RICON HAS DISCOVERED, HOWEVER, THAT IT IS POSSIBLE FOR THE OPERATOR TO INSERT THE BELT TONGUE INTO THE BUCKLE WITHOUT FULLY ENGAGING THE LATCHING MECHANISM. IN THIS CASE, THE RESTRAINT BELT WOULD APPEAR TO BE LATCHED, AND THE OPERATOR COULD RUN THE LIFT. IF THE RESTRAINT BELT TONGUE IS NOT FULLY ENGAGED INTO THE RESTRAINT BELT BUCKLE, AND LATCHED, THE LIFT MAY OPERATE WITH AN OCCUPANT ON THE PLATFORM.
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