U.S. Department of Transportation
Office of Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 15, 2003
Contact: Dave Longo
FMCSA Fines New York Household Goods Carrier
$302,000 for Violating Commercial Regulations
The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced that it has assessed a civil penalty of $302,000 against a for-hire motor carrier hauling primarily household goods from New York for multiple violations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR). The investigation was conducted because of consumer complaints received by FMCSA and the outcome was a result of coordinated efforts by FMCSA's New York, New Jersey, and Washington, DC offices.
USA Van Lines, Inc. (USA Van) of Brooklyn, NY was served with a notice of claim letter for violations of the FMCSR. FMCSA uses these claim letters to initiate enforcement action for federal rule violations. The carrier has operated in the past under previous names such as Piazza Van Lines, American Transfer and Storage, and The Nice Movers.
USA Van was cited for multiple violations including failing to publish a tariff (pricing rates); failing to participate in an arbitration program; failing to provide the required consumer information, "Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move"; failing to relinquish possession of household goods shipments based on non-binding estimates after payment of 110 percent of the original estimate; failing to prepare an order for service in the prescribed form and manner; failing to prepare a receipt or bill of lading in the prescribed form and manner; failing to weigh interstate household good shipments in the prescribed required form and manner; using or publishing false, misleading, or deceptive advertising; and operating a charge card plan without a tariff provision.
The motor carrier will have the opportunity to contest the alleged violations and the amount of the penalties in an agency proceeding.
Consumers may file household goods or other commercial motor carrier complaints by calling FMCSA's nationwide complaint hotline, 1-888-368-7238 (1-888 DOT-SAFT) and online at
nccdb.fmcsa.dot.gov. A complaint form is also available on FMCSA's web site at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov. The completed form may be mailed to: FMCSA, 400 Seventh St. SW, MC-PA, Washington, DC 20590, or faxed to 202-366-7298.
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