In a trial involving Trinity Ind., videos of nationally used highway guardrailing failing during a crash test were revealed.
ABC News reports the federal suit is between Texas-based Trinity Industries and competitor Joshua Harman. Harman is arguing that the corporation kept information hidden about their ET-plus guardrail end terminal design changes. The ET-plus guardrails were approved for sale and are meant to absorb impacts.
The U.S. government has chosen to remain uninvolved in this case; however, Missouri, Massachusetts, and Nevada, have all suspended the use of new guardrails until safety investigations are completed. Virginia is now also looking into the issue.
Trinity is working with state governments to ensure that ”accurate information has been given” about their products. Trial is being held in Marshall, Texas and began on Monday, October 13th.
The crash tests videos were shot sometime between 2006 and 2005. They were never given to the federal government.
In the crash tests videos, five tests were conducted where small cars where rammed into the guardrails. 2 out of the 5 times the vehicle rolled over, and in one incident, the guardrail impaled the car. In these videos, the metal structure clearly failed in some form.
Brian Smith, Trinity Vice President of International Sales, commented that the videos showed an “experimental” version of the ET-plus guardrails and that the design never went into production.
Furthermore, Trinty claims that since the guardrails shown in the video were not manufactured there is no reason to have submitted the videos. Also, that the guardrails used in the videos were put together differently than those that are in use in U.S. highways.
The Texas-based corporation has made public crash test videos from 2005 to 2010 in which the guard railing system functions properly.