An investigation by the New York State Attorney General’s office uncovered that UPS had a good internal procedure for inspecting its trucks for safety but failed to use it.
Now the delivery company will pay $1.3 million in penalties, fines and costs to New York state, proving that a safety plan on paper won’t keep a company out of trouble unless the plan is followed.
“UPS knowingly endangered not only the lives of their own employees but the lives of the driving public,” said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. “By keeping these rotting and decaying trucks on the roadways, UPS was an accident waiting to happen.”
The investigation found UPS was inspecting and passing its own trucks despite their poor condition. Because of its fleet size, UPS had a license to conduct its own state vehicle inspections.
A UPS mechanic blew the whistle on the company. The mechanic had removed four trucks from service in March 2006 because they all had cracked frames. UPS allowed those trucks to remain in service without being repaired.
Among the findings from the investigation: In 2004, at least 23 trucks were identified by UPS supervisors as having cracked or rotting frames. None of the trucks were taken out of service. Some stayed in service for up to two years.
As part of its settlement with the state, UPS has agreed to retain an independent inspector, who will be approved by the attorney general’s office, to conduct state vehicle inspections for five years.