Cuban citizen pleads guilty in Texas CDL fraud scheme

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Trucking news and briefs for Tuesday, May 24, 2022:

Cuban citizen pleads guilty in Texas CDL fraud scheme

The Department of Transportation's Office of Inspector General announced that Fernando Guardado Vazquez, a Cuban citizen, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas on May 10 to conspiracy to commit mail and honest services fraud in connection with a scheme to fraudulently issue commercial driver's licenses.

According to the indictment, from January 2017 to about June 2019, Vazquez and two co-conspirators paid a Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) employee to falsely certify that CDL applicants had passed the skills portion of the CDL test. However, those applicants had either failed or had not taken the test.

The DPS employee provided Vazquez and a co-conspirator with temporary CDLs for the applicants, and DPS later mailed those individuals permanent CDLs.

Daimler recalls approx. 200 Freightliner, Western Star trucks

Two separate recalls from Daimler Trucks North America include approximately 209 Freightliner and Western Star trucks, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documents.

The largest of the two recalls involves 185 trucks in which the gross axle weight rating (GAWR) listed on the Federal Certification Label is incorrect, which can allow the trucks to be overloaded, the recall states. Affected trucks include certain 2020 Freightliner Cascadia, 2020-2022 Western Star 4700 and 5700, 2022 Western Star 4900, and 2020-2023 Freightliner New Cascadia models.

Dealers will be replace the GAWR labels for free. Owners can contact DTNA customer service at 1-800-547-0712 with recall number FL-933. NHTSA’s recall number is 22V-338.

The other recall affects approximately 24 model year 2022 Freightliner Cascadia trucks in which the antilock brakes (ABS) and electronic stability control (ESC) may be manually disabled.  As such, the trucks fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard numbers 121, "Air Brake Systems," and 136, "Electronic Stability Control Systems on Heavy Vehicles."

Dealers will correct this feature to bring the trucks into compliance. Owners can contact DTNA customer service at 1-800-547-0712 with recall number FL-932. NHTSA’s recall number is 22V-339.

Penske Truck Leasing opens new location in New Jersey

Penske Truck Leasing recently opened a new facility in Cranbury, New Jersey, located at 2682 US 130 North, near exit 8 and 8A of the New Jersey Turnpike and U.S. Route 1.

At this location, Penske offers consumer and commercial truck rental, full-service truck leasing and contract truck fleet maintenance.

It is also outfitted with the company's proprietary fully digital and voice-directed preventive maintenance process and Penske digital experience solutions, as well as options related to onboard technology systems (ELDs, telematics, onboard cameras, etc.).

“We’ve outgrown the South Brunswick facility by 10-fold in the past 30 years,” said Mike Duquette, New York Metro area vice president for Penske Truck Leasing. “When we first opened, the location serviced nearly 200 vehicles out of two truck bays -- now, three decades later, we service over 2,000 vehicles out of three truck bays; this new state-of-the-art facility was eminent.”

The location is 22,995-square-feet and sits on 9.62 acres. It features five drive-thru bays with 10 service areas and is complemented by an additional 10 covered service areas hugging the facility. It also has an automated wash bay, and a full-service three lane fuel island.