Three household goods moving companies are facing civil penalty fines of $25,000 each as a result of a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration enforcement sweep that took place in nine major U.S. cities from March 14-18. The companies are Guardian Moving & Storage of Los Angeles; Lightning Van Lines Inc. of San Leandro, Calif.; and Viking Moving and Storage Inc. of Oakland, Calif.
The sweep, in which 37 FMCSA and state investigators conducted compliance reviews of 67 moving companies, was part of the agency’s year-round Household Goods Strike Force initiative designed to protect the public from fraudulent moving companies. The sweep targeted high-risk moving companies in Los Angeles, San Jose, Las Vegas, Phoenix, New Orleans, Miami and Atlanta.
“We are committed to protecting the public from unscrupulous movers that attempt to operate unsafely,” says U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “We want these carriers to know that there are serious legal and financial consequences for evading federal regulations.”
The comprehensive compliance reviews conducted by federal and state investigators looked for regulatory violations such as failing to relinquish possession of a household goods shipment (hostage load), collecting fees more than the original binding estimate and failing to provide consumers with an arbitration process.
“FMCSA is committed to raising the bar for safety and closing cases on rogue household goods movers,” says FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro. “We will do this by keeping the focus on safety and on improving service to the American public, one safe and successful move at a time.”