BP’s fuel tankers have started returning to the road after a triple fatality but the company says any defects will be fixed first.
Tankers outside Victoria began returning to service on Monday across metropolitan and regional areas.
BP’s Victorian drivers were being briefed at a safety meeting on Monday with vehicles in that state expected to progressively return to operation from Tuesday onwards, a company spokesperson said in a statement.
Inspections of about 30 BP vehicles in Victoria and another 20 around the rest of Australia over the weekend uncovered some “wear and tear” defects but no trucks were grounded.
The majority of BP’s haulage is conducted by third party operators and the company says it is continuing to work with its contractors to identify trucks which are similar to the vehicle involved in last Thursday’s accident.
A four-year-old boy, his mum and another woman died when the trailer of a BP petrol tanker became detached while rounding a bend on a country Victorian road, crashing head-on into and crushing two cars.
VicRoads checked 20 BP trucks and 19 trailers, issuing five major and 20 minor defect notices for what it says are standard maintenance issues between services.
The major defects affect a major component of a vehicle and BP is addressing all defects before returning the trucks to service, VicRoads director of regulatory services Richard Bell said on Monday.
“The defects reflect standard maintenance issues that occur in between regular services, such as suspension wear and tear, tyres and oil and fuel leaks,” he said in a statement.
“We did find an example of chassis cracking, which falls in a major category and BP have advised us that these repairs will be carried out this week.”
BP said all defects, even minor ones, will be addressed before any vehicle returns to service after the national recall.
“We are satisfied that we have a robust maintenance program for the ongoing inspection of our vehicles and work with the relevant regulators to ensure adherence to applicable regulations.”