L’Enfant Plaza – We have a spontaneous combustion problem

This post seems to be older than 1 year— so keep that in mind while reading. It might be outdated.

I have noticed a very disturbing thing in the last few years.  LLV fires - Lots of them..  The aging fleet seems to be becoming a huge problem in regards to the safety of mail carriers.  I looked at only the last year or so and specifically for LLV -Postal owned  vehicle fires and it really is scary how many of these vehicles catch on fire while mail is being delivered.

Is the current LLV fleet too old and worn out?  What is causing these fires?  An important note is that in many instances of these fires, the carrier saves the mail.

It is certainly something that really needs to be taken seriously.  With this many catching on fire, there is a problem somewhere that needs to be addressed.  The safety of these vehicles need to be a top priority of the Postal Service, even in times of financial distress.

Postal employee Brad Yonan was trying to restart his postal vehicle when it caught fire as he delivered mail Tuesday to a home on North Via Avellana, in the Catalina Foothills. Yonan wasn't injured in the blaze, which was put out by Rural/Metro.


Hundreds of pieces of mail burn when postal truck catches fire - July 2012


USPS truck catches fire; some mail destroyed - December 2012Mail Truck Destroyed by Fire –

April 2012US Mail Truck Catches Fire in Kanawha County - July 2012

Hot mail? Fire consumes postal delivery truck - June 2012

Postal truck fire  - July 2012

Postal Truck Catches Fire on Interstate 4 - May 2012USPS News Link Story - Arizona letter carrier survives LLV fire - August 2012

According to police, the fire started in the truck's engine and then consumed the vehicle. There was no mail on the truck at the time. No one was hurt.

Keep in mind, these are just the LLV fires in the last year, and the results are the same for previous years going back several years. This is a problem no one really talks about but it really needs to be looked at. The safety of mail carriers being sent out in these aging vehicles every day should be very high on the Postal Service's priority list, even amidst the financial problems the USPS is currently in the middle of. Safety should NOT be involved in any cost cutting measures. Lives depend on having a safe vehicle to get the job done. Let's hope someone, somewhere in the upper echelon of the Postal Service realizes it is something that should be looked at.

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Elizabeth Keith via

SMH! this is purely bs pr
Soler said mail delivery trucks are routinely serviced and are well maintained and he can't recall an incident like this happening before.

"You almost never see this happen," he said. "It's a very rare thing."

Elizabeth Keith via

somebody needs tocollect these and archive it.

David Gilbert

This is why if the Postal Service wasn't saddled with the $5.5 billion dollar a year pre-funding scam that the 2006 Congress dumped on them, they wouldn't be stuck with 20-25 year old antique vehicles! Most vehicles that old are already in the wrecking yard! And you wonder why they are catching fire?

John randell

I think we need to have fire extinguishers in every llv!!!!!

Kathy Allen

We have not had any catch on fire but they sound horrible, not well maintained. Just like all the broken equipment we have to use on a daily basis….if the clerks tag it as broken it goes back to the plant where they proceed to pull off the tag and re-use it. We had a cage full of dps come in with it missing a wheel….a safety hazard to everyone trying to move and empty it! Trucks are the same, they do as little as possible to keep them on the road.

Jesse Koleszar via F

So, can we sue if we're injured as a result? If not, that's total bs

Carl Owen

Add Moore, Oklahoma to the list. My friend Karen's LLV caught fire and burned out the entire front end. Yup she saved all the mail including a full coverage set of advert circs we universally despise. We teased her that we wouldn't thrown them into the cab then pulled out the rest.


As broke as the Post Office says it is, We will never get new ones. The cost is way to high..

CS Day

Mine came back from VMF with 30 lbs of air in all the tires, instead of the 50 lbs required. Not so good on icy or snowy roads.


We had an LLV fire in our 12524 office a few years ago,while the carrier was delivering mail.Management accused the carrier of starting it.

ronaldo cosmo kramer

i knew this was going to be a problem way back when, when newman had the mail truck fire

on seinfeld. if only the postal brass would watch more television we might prevent some of these


city carrier superst

in my station, we were told NOT to save the mail, save ourselves.

Rick Hatzenbuhler

it's not a a problem until they don't have a vehicle for everbody that day. and because the voma guy was a letter carrier , they make him go out and deliver mail when they don't have enough bodies to carry mail that day. Being a letter carrier and done the voma thing, they are getting to be death traps. 27 year old vehicles that need constant care and extra parts is not their concern. then to order parts you end up fighting the parts guy and management VMF. You can't possible need all them parts, we are not sending… Read more »


my carrier had one burn up on him about 2 yrs. ago i have heard that a poss. cause is oil or trans.

fluid leaking onto the exhaust system

Broke RFD

We had one burn in our office – They stripped it down to the chassis & rebuilt the whole vehicle. & yes some mail was burned & drenched with water by FD but delivered to the customer if they could be identified (with an explanation to what happened).

Angie Sorger via Fac

a good Five years ago i asked our postmaster why we dont have fire extingushers in the LLV's??? never got a answer..i always keep one in my own car delivering the mail


we had a steering wheel come off while driving.

Leslie Lawson

Don't know anything about fires but the LLV's in our area are not well maintained. Mine had a problem where a wire kept burning in 2 or something and it was finally fixed after being towed in multiple times. It has had oil , & antifreeze leaks for a long time. They fix it temporary usually after something major goes wrong (like the transmission being let go until it went completely out). Now it has been dying and has been towed in a couple of times recently but I don't know what is wrong with it.

Lonnie Clippard via

We have a fleet that is beyond its useful life…..

Ljiljana Alic via Fa

Those things should be in museum long ago.

Catherine M Tolbert


Dave Coleman via Fac

In my old office it is a daily routine to be taking LLVs back and forth to the local garage

Ron Berg via Faceboo

looks like you were driving recklessly again

Stephanie Duffy via

I wonder what percent catches on fire –

Dave Coleman via Facebook

In my old office it is a daily routine to be taking LLVs back and forth to the local garage

Ron Berg via Facebook

looks like you were driving recklessly again

Stephanie Duffy via Facebook

I wonder what percent catches on fire –

Kathy Cundy via Face

They are not concerned about safety ONLY the guise of safety. I'd be surprised if no carriers were issued discipline because of these fires. The P.O. will twist it around to blame the carrier!

Kathy Cundy via Facebook

They are not concerned about safety ONLY the guise of safety. I’d be surprised if no carriers were issued discipline because of these fires. The P.O. will twist it around to blame the carrier!

Vmf dude

I don't believe anyone cares. There are reasons for them catching fire. I don't know of any that have been diagnosed and then tell maintenance personel what to look for.

Ljiljana Alic via Fa


Tammy Caldwell Roth

Add another one to the list–June 2, 2012–Richmond, VA–my truck was fine at first that day, but couldn't make it to the route—caught fire on the way back in—saved the whole truckload of mail though. It melted to the chassis with a full tank of gas.

Tammy Caldwell Roth

When it was scraped up and taken back to VMS, there was another LLV and a larger 3/4 ton there in the fence, both also burned up.

John randell

If this was roll always it would be a big concern smh


Just 2 weeks ago the LLV that I use leaked a half a tank of gas in a mile. Pulled over due to the fumes, the person behind me pulled over to and told me I was leaking gas all over. This was on my way back to the office. This was not taken seriously at the Post office.

Brenda Bertrand via


Kay Jennings Beshear


Shawn Springer via F

MAIL is finished

Marybeth Libell via

Could it be that when it rains it leaks right into the fuse box?

Sheree Leffel Knopf

I have become afraid for my safety. I do what I can, but I feel the P.O. is always putting me in harms way……….this job gets more dangerous by the day.

RickandKathy Bless v

I'm betting that carrier got a letter of warning.

Wendy Keymont via Fa

well thats scary!!!!!!!

Shawn Springer via F

They don't upkeep them. That may be electrical, often times its cause their is no oil in the engine.. They are just patching them up and putting them back on the street. They even cap the tires now from used tires.

Allen Blair via Face

Agree. They do Almost zero preventative maintenance and then only fix what they have too. Maybe since we're delivering on Sundays now they can purchase some new llv. Lol

Donna McCracken via

Goodness!!!! I bet I'm supposed to try n secure the mail in such an event… Lol

Heath Hayes

Fire extinguishers should be mandatory in every LLV!!!

Belinda Walding Rone

a carrier should never try to fight a fire

Joyce Fearnehough