FMCSA seeks comments on National Consumer Complaint Database

September 3, 2021

Mark Schremmer

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is seeking comments about an information collection request on its National Consumer Complaint Database.

The notice was published in the Federal Register on Friday, Sept. 3.

“This renewal collection of information is for the National Consumer Complaint Database, which is an online interface allowing consumers, and/or their employers, including shippers, receivers and transportation intermediaries, depending on the type of complaint,” FMCSA wrote.

The complaints often involve driver harassment, coercion, movement of household goods, financial responsibility instruments for brokers and freight forwarder, Americans with Disability Act, ELDs, medical review officers, and substance abuse professionals.

FMCSA said it is issuing the information collection request to renew the National Consumer Complaint Database so it can collect complaint information and so the agency can use the data to take enforcement action.

Comments can be made here or by going to the Regulations.gov website and entering Docket No. FMCSA-2021-0089. The deadline for comments is Nov. 3.

Improving the National Consumer Complaint Database?

The Senate infrastructure bill includes an OOIDA-backed provision designed to improve the National Consumer Complaint Database.

In 2019, Rep. Brian Babin, R-Texas, and OOIDA called out the program’s inability to address driver coercion, as well as other complaints from drivers about motor carriers violating safety regulations.

“Unfortunately, drivers have informed me this process is wholly ineffective, discouraging them from submitting complaints,” Babin wrote. “The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, who submits complaints on behalf of their members, tells me truckers routinely receive minimal follow-up from the agency and often never find out what happened to their complaint. Worse, drivers have reported that the agency has even lost track of their pending complaints, leaving little hope for resolution.”

The provision would require the U.S. Government Accountability Office to examine the National Consumer Complaint Database and to evaluate the effectiveness of efforts to consider and follow up on complaints submitted to the database, the types of complaints, and awareness of the database. LL

Mark Schremmer, senior editor, joined Land Line in 2015. An award-winning journalist and former assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal, he brings fresh ideas, solid reporting skills, and more than two decades of journalism experience to our staff.