Daily dispatch, Jan. 31: Three recalls affect Autocar, Kenworth, Peterbilt trucks; trucking crime report

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Trucking news and briefs for Friday, Jan. 31, 2020: 

More than 5,500 Autocar severe-duty trucks, nearly 170 Kenworth, Peterbilt tractors recalled

Three recalls announced in January by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration include more than 5,800 Autocar, Peterbilt and Kenworth trucks.

The largest of the three recalls affects approximately 5,513 model year 2013-2020 Autocar Xpeditor severe-duty trucks. The ignition relay in the affected trucks could fail without warning, causing the trucks to stall.

Autocar will notify affected owners, and dealers will replace the ignition relay for free. Owners can contact Autocar customer service at 1-888-218-3611 or 1-877-973-3486 with recall number ACX-2001. NHTSA’s recall number is 20V-013.

A recall by Paccar affects approximately 148 model year 2020 Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks of various models. In certain 2020 Kenworth T800, T880 and W990 and Peterbilt 348, 367, 389, 520 and 567 tractors, the forward rear axle output shafts may have been improperly heat treated during manufacturing, possibly causing the shafts to fracture.

Paccar will notify owners, and dealers will inspect and replace the output shafts, if necessary. Owners can contact Kenworth customer service at 1-425-828-5888 with recall number 19KWE or Peterbilt customer service at 1-940-591-4220 with recall number 19PBG. NHTSA’s recall number is 19V-911.

Another Paccar recall affects approximately 21 model year 2018-2019 Peterbilt 520 refuse trucks built in right-hand stand-up configuration. The steering assist cylinder bracket may not have been properly mounted, the company says, which could cause it to break and damage surrounding components and/or lock up the steering.

Paccar will notify owners, and dealers will correct the mounting. Owners can contact Peterbilt customer service at 1-940-591-4220 with recall number 19PBF. NHTSA’s recall number is 19V-917.

Crime report: Falsified medical exams, HHG moving fraud, CDL testing scheme, more
Action in four trucking-related crimes – including falsifying medical exams, household goods moving fraud, a CDL testing scheme and operating a truck without a CDL – has recently been reported by the Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General.

  • Florida physician’s assistance arrested for falsifying DOT medical exams
    Ronald E. Sherry, a physician’s assistant, was charged with false entries and obstruction related to fraudulent medical exams of truck drivers. Sherry was an FMCSA-certified medical examiner authorized to conduct physicals for CDL applicants and holders.

OIG says that between March 2018 and March 2019, he made false entries on FMCSA medical certification forms and sent them to the agency. The forms allegedly indicated that he conducted CDL medical exams when he actually had not.

  • New Jersey-based HHG company officials sentenced
    Two co-conspirators in a HHG moving scheme pleaded guilty in November, and one of them has been sentenced to time in prison. Rami Zubidat and Richard Bishara, operators of several New Jersey-based moving companies, pleaded guilty to quoting customers “low-ball” price estimates, then increasing their final prices above the amount allowed by federal regulations.

OIG says the pair created fictitious moving companies and registered them with fake owners and addresses, then when customers made complaints against one company, they would shut it down and create a new one.

Bishara was sentenced on Jan. 9 to five years in prison and three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay $72,709.05 in restitution and a $100 special assessment fee.

  • California trucking school owner sentenced for role in CDL scheme
    Jagpal Singh, the owner of a California trucking school, was sentenced to three years and three months in prison, a year of supervised release and a $200 special assessment fee after pleading guilty last year to conspiracy to commit bribery, identity fraud and unauthorized use of a computer, as well as identification document fraud.

OIG says Singh participated in a scheme to bribe California DMV employees to provide CDLs to unqualified drivers. Court documents show that Singh bribed two DMV employees, who also pleaded guilty. Lisa Terraciano was sentenced to three years and four months in prison, and Kari Scattaglia was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison.

  • Louisiana-based logging company owner charged with operating trucks without a license
    Joseph Malmay, the owner of Jack Malmay Logging, was charged Jan. 17 with operating a commercial vehicle without a CDL. An OIG investigation found that Malmay allegedly, in exchange for cash payments, hauled multiple loads of logs within Louisiana and across state lines into Texas.

He was reportedly stopped and cited by Louisiana State Police on three separate occasions because he did not have a CDL and was driving with a regular driver’s license that had expired. OIG found that Malmay allegedly never possessed a CDL or attempted to obtain one.