Sixty-seven of the TTC’s 89 new street cars were recalled because of suspected inferior frame welds that could affect their 30-year service life if not repaired.
TTC spokesman Brad Ross said the welding defects were detected last fall.
“We identified that the first 67 cars delivered to Toronto had defects in the welding of the frames that the street car is built around,” he said.
“When this was discovered, we directed Bombardier development program to fix these welds,” Ross said.
The TTC is sending three to four cars at a time to Bombardier’s plant in La Pocatière, Que., this fall. Ross said it’s expected it would take three or four years to complete the repairs.
“We are sending them at the start of this fall, and it will take about four years to complete the fixes in the 67 cars that need to be repaired,” Ross said. “The company has to strip the cars down, remove all of the exterior, all of the floor and seats to repair the defects.”
The repairs won’t cost the city as Bombardier will pick up the tab.
“The service life of these street cars is guaranteed by Bombardier for at least 30 years,” Ross said. “It is under guarantee, so Bombardier is fixing these street cars at their cost and they are transporting them is under their expense.”
The commission purchased the cars for $1.2 billion in 2009 with the promise of 204 new cars delivered by 2018.
The TTC knew that some of new cars have the welding problem, and it was notified that corrections would be needed, Ross said. The repairs will be performed on a rotating basis to ensure trams will be service while others are in Quebec.
“We can’t afford to not have them, but we knew that eventually they were going to have be repaired and there gonna have to leave the city,” said Ross. “We decided that we would do that, but until we got more street cars.
“We decided that we would accept the rest of the street cars, knowing that still more were coming with defects, because we need the street cars to operate on service.” he said.
Ross said the TTC will ensure the street cars will be on the road for its lifespan once they’re repaired.