07/04/2018 09:41 EDT | Updated 09/28/2018 14:32 EDT

Toronto Transit To Send 75% Of Its Bombardier Streetcars Back For Repairs

Bombardier will cover the cost of the repairs.

Randy Risling via Getty Images
A TTC streetcar moves along Queens Quay.

Toronto's transit commission says the majority of its new streetcars have to be returned to their manufacturer for repairs.

The first 67 streetcars out of 89 produced for Toronto by Bombardier Transportation will be sent back for preventative repairs of "inferior frame welds," TTC spokesman Brad Ross said Wednesday.

The defect poses no safety risk "in any way," he added.

"(Bombardier) advised us last fall," Ross said. "We directed them to develop a program for repair that will permanently fix the cars while minimizing service impacts."

Welding issues 'not uncommon'

The streetcars will be returned three or four at a time, and will all be fixed by 2022, Ross said.

Bombardier will cover the cost of the repairs, which will take place at its Welding Centre of Excellence in La Pocatière, Que., company spokesman Eric Prud'homme said.

"Welding issues are not uncommon in the industry, but, in this case, Bombardier has been proactive and responsible to ensure the cars meet the expected longevity, all in full transparency with TTC and their riders," Prud'homme said.

"Until our preventive welding maintenance program is performed, we fully guaranty the strength of the existing welds."

Bombardier has been contracted to provide the TTC with a total of 204 streetcars by the end of 2019, Prud'homme said.

The welding defect and necessary repairs will not prevent Bombardier from meeting that goal, he said, adding that the transportation company had met its quarterly objectives by delivering 27 new cars to the TTC in the first half of this year.

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