UPDATE: Whitfield County Schools has 174 buses in their fleet and nearly 1/5 of them are a part of the nationwide recall. 

Rick Holsomback— the Director of Transportation for Whitfield County Schools— says the recalled buses will not be pulled from the fleet. They've been advised by the manufacturer that this is not an out of service recall.

"We do feel comfortable that our students will be safe and we will continue to travel with those buses transporting students until the resolution is taken care of," Holsomback told Channel 3. 

The repairs for the recalled buses will happen at the beginning of December. 

Holsomback says it is not going to cost the school district any money to fix-- Thomas Built will pick up the tab. 

"They'll take care of that. Their technicians will actually be doing all the installation— that'll be something our guys are not taking care of," said Holsomback. 

Channel 3 reached out to several other school systems in our viewing area.

Hamilton county and Grundy county are not affected by the recall.

Catoosa county schools and Sequatchie county— both have buses that fall under the recall— neither will be pulling buses from the fleet.

Anyone with questions can call NHTSA's Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or go to safecar.gov.


A nationwide school bus safety recall by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration affects over 50,000 Thomas Built school buses.

The parent company of Thomas Built Buses was informed by Canadian transportation officials that some seats in its buses failed knee foam impact tests on the seatbacks.

Hamilton County school buses are not affected, according to spokesman Tim Hensley.

But 31 school buses in Whitfield County are part of the recall, says Kristina Horlsey, communications specialist for the school system.

The affected buses are the newest in the school systems fleet, Horsely explained.

Channel 3 has reached out to other school systems to see if their buses are part of the recall, but have not yet heard back.

The recall affects 53,528 2014 through 2020 Thomas Built bus models:

  • Minotour
  • Saf-T-Liner C2
  • Safe-T-Liner HDX

All of the buses have SynTec S3B or S3C seats.

The manufacturer is notifying owners and dealers to remedy the error. The recall is expected to begin on December 2, 2019.

Anyone with questions can call NHTSA's Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or go to safecar.gov.