Thursday, June 14, 2001

The HPD's entire fleet of Go-4 patrol vehicles was
sidelined last month due to safety issues. Twelve
were repaired, but now they are off the road again
to replace worn rubber bushings.

Police vehicles in
for repairs again

Worn rubber parts ground
12 of the recently fixed Go-4s

By Nelson Daranciang

Three-wheeled police vehicles that were returned after three weeks in the shop to have faulty suspension parts replaced are back off the road.

Police last week put back into service 12 repaired Go-4s out of the 81 removed from service last month.

But those 12 vehicles were taken off the road again on Tuesday.

Police maintenance workers found that some rubber bushings that affect the vehicle's wheel alignment were worn after an officer returned his vehicle because a tire was scraping the inside of the wheel well.

"When they started to make the alignment, they found out the bushings were worn, so they were unable to make proper alignment," said William Rhoden, Honolulu Police Department maintenance supervisor. He said if the bushings are not replaced, the rear axle could fall off.

Police last month sent 72 of the 81 Go-4s in its fleet to Gem of Hawaii for repair. The company has so far installed new suspension parts in about half of them, said Mark Snyder, general manager.

Police maintenance workers will change the rubber bushings on the vehicles as they come back from Gem.

Rhoden said it takes two hours to replace the bushings on a vehicle. But he estimates it will be late next week before any Go-4s are back on the streets because new bushings have to be shipped from the manufacturer in Canada.

"We have never had those bushings wear out, so we never kept them in stock," Rhoden said.

Rhoden said he does not know the price tag for replacing the bushings but said the manufacturer has agreed to share in the cost.

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