The most common violation was insufficient brakes.
Nearly half of New Jersey's 24,000 school buses fail initial inspections each year.
The Motor Vehicle Commission's latest school bus report card shows 47 percent failed and had to be taken off the road. Another 12 percent failed for minor items that do not affect safety.
The Press of Atlantic City found in January 2011 that almost half of all school vehicles inspected in 2010 failed inspection and another third got 30-day notices. The most common violation was insufficient brakes. Other common problems included emissions, lights, seats and engine problems.
MVC spokeswoman Elyse Coffey says 91 percent of the failed buses are repaired, re-inspected and passed the same day.
The MVC's bus report card is available at www.njmvc.gov.