The Company Behind the Recent Takata Airbag Crash Ordered to Cease Operations
The company has more federal violations that it has trucks on the roadby Robert Moore, on
Remember that truck full of Takata air bags that crashed and exploded a couple of months ago, effectively leveling a house, killing one, and injuring a few others? Well, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has been investigating the accident ever since to determine just what happened. As it turns out, the driver of the truck entered a curve too quickly, which ultimately caused it to leave the roadway, tip over, and catch on fire — ultimately leading to the explosion. As is the standard procedure for accidents like this, the company that owns the truck – Industrial Transit – was also investigated and found to be in violation of several federal safety regulations. The FMCSA, in turn, issued an order for the company to immediately cease all operations as it is officially declared “an imminent hazard to public safety.”
Industrial Transit has just five trucks, all of which are normally used for hauling automotive parts for various companies. Most automotive parts aren’t considered hazardous material, but airbags are one of the few automotive parts that are. Be that as it may, Industrial Transit has failed to comply with driver qualification requirements, even allowing two drivers over the last few months to operate its trucks without a valid commercial driver’s license. It never implemented random alcohol and drug testing, has failed to keep up on regular inspection, maintenance, and repair of its fleet, and wasn’t monitoring how many hours its drivers spent behind the wheel. Drivers had no formal training for handling hazardous materials, and the company was apparently no good at filling out the necessary paperwork for hazardous materials either.
Sounds crazy right? Well, the FMCSA also found that some of the trucks had brakes that were out of adjustment, loose steering components, oil leaks, and one even had an unsecured fire extinguisher. The company could, ultimately, return to business as usual, but it must first bring itself up to speed, correct the violations, and undergo another full inspection by the FMCSA. If the company refuses to comply with the order to cease operations, it could be fined as much as $25,705. It could also be hit with a fine of at least $10,282 for operating “without necessary authority,” and could suffer a civil penalty of up to $14,502 for operating without a USDOT number. Anyone who violates the order could also be fined up to $25,000 and sentenced to up to one year in prison.
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More Violations than Trucks Owned
After hearing about all of these violations, it really makes you wonder just what kind of circus Industrial Transit was running behind the scenes. It’s almost like the company bought a few trucks, took a few orders, and snagged a handful guys off of the street to drive them. I’ve seen some pretty shady operations in my day, and this certainly has to be one of them. Now that the company has been told to cease operations, it makes me wonder if there will be charges brought against the driver of the truck or the owner of the company. Either way, there’s something to learn from this whole situation. If you’re going to operate a transport company, file your paperwork, hire legal drivers, train, and drug test them correctly, and keep up on vehicle maintenance. For now, it looks like Industrial transport may have just hauled its last load, but it could eventually commence operations again should it bring itself up to code. I would hold my breath on that one, though.