DETROIT – An Alabama company that made a tractor-trailer hitch involved in a deadly Ohio crash last year is bowing to government pressure and will recall 6,800 hitches.
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Fontaine Fifth Wheel of Trussville, Alabama, agreed to the recall in August, according to documents posted Thursday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The safety agency began investigating the hitches in June, 17 months after a 12-ton semi-trailer came loose from its tractor and plowed into oncoming traffic near Cincinnati. Two men driving pickup trucks were killed in the crash on U.S. 50.
Fontaine says in documents filed with the agency that the hitch locking mechanisms can be damaged over time by truck operators who don't follow proper coupling and maintenance procedures.
Fontaine will replace the defective hitches with a different model.