Motor Carrier Safety Administration has assessed a civil penalty
of $302,000 against a Brooklyn, NY, for-hire motor carrier that
primarily hauls household goods from New York.
was conducted because of consumer complaints received by FMCSA.
The agency's New York, New Jersey and Washington, DC, offices were
involved in the investigation.
USA Van Lines
Inc. was served with a “notice of claim” letter for violations of
the regulations. 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 rates;
failing to participate in an arbitration program; failing to provide
the required consumer information; and failing to relinquish possession
of household goods shipments based on non-binding estimates after
payment of 110 percent of the original estimate.
was also cited for failing to prepare an order for service or a
bill of lading in the prescribed form and manner. Additional citations
included using or publishing false, misleading or deceptive advertising;
and operating a charge card plan without a tariff provision.
The motor carrier
can contest the alleged violations and the amount of the penalties
in an agency proceeding.