Early indications are that despite a service bulletin issued in 2013 by Ride the Ducks worldwide, the Seattle firm had not repaired axles on any of its vehicles, Pratt said.
Witnesses described seeing the duck boat’s left front tire lock up Thursday before it veered into the bus on a bridge.
The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission voted Monday to suspend operations of the Seattle Ride the Ducks pending an investigation into the crash that killed five people.
Weener also said the left front axle of the amphibious vehicle was sheared off, but it was unclear how that occurred.
Results of the federal probe are not expected for a year, he said. He said the company would continue to cooperate fully with investigators.
All five victims were students at North Seattle College.
The Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC), which regulates commercial motor carriers, said Sunday that it would inspect all Seattle Duck vehicles and driver records.
The NTSB’s finding came as medical authorities said that a 5th foreign student injured in the crash died on Sunday.
Ride the Ducks worldwide told investigators late Saturday about the warning, Weener said.
Tracey said he was in “complete agreement” with calls by Gov. Jay Inslee and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray to keep the duck boats off the streets pending a state inspection of all the vehicles. Four students died at the scene, and more than 50 people were taken to hospitals.
The AP noted that these vehicles are used for tours all over the world, in such cities as Philadelphia; Austin, Texas; Miami; Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and London.
A typical investigation lasts a yr, Weener stated.
The U.S. Army-surplus vehicle that crashed was built in 1945 and refurbished in 2005, Weener said, adding there were about 100 similar trucks in service nationwide.
It was not clear whether the Seattle franchise ever got the message, but the repairs were never made, the NTSB spokesman said. The federal agency has scrutinized duck tour vehicles several times when they’ve been in accidents on water. The company had already voluntarily parked its fleet.