Unannounced brake inspection blitz leads to 679 CMVs out of service

Updated Jun 9, 2023
Inspector checking a truck

Inspectors placed 679 commercial motor vehicles out of service for brake-related problems during a one-day, unannounced Brake Safety Day held April 19. That accounts for 11.5% of the 5,901 vehicles inspected in the U.S. during the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's event covering all of North America.

In Canada, 88 vehicles -- 10% of the 894 inspected -- were placed out of service, while 6 of the 34 vehicles inspected in Mexico were sidelined. 

The CVSA said the top three brake-related out-of-service conditions were:

  • 20% Brakes Violations – 479 vehicles. A vehicle or combination of vehicles is declared out of service when 20% or more of its service brakes have an out-of-service condition resulting in a defective brake, such as a brake out of adjustment, an audible air leak at the chamber, defective linings/pads, a missing brake where brakes are required, etc.
  • Other Brake Violations – 368 vehicles. Examples of other out-of-service brake violations are worn brake lines, broken brake drums, inoperative tractor protection system, inoperative low air warning device, air leaks, and hydraulic fluid leaks.
  • Steering Brake Violations – 81 vehicles. Examples of automatic standalone out-of-service steering axle brake violations are inoperative brakes, mismatched brake chambers, mismatched slack adjuster length, and defective linings.

CVSA said its annual Brake Safety Day is also an opportunity to obtain additional data related to the health and wellness of brake systems on commercial motor vehicles. This year, CVSA focused on capturing data on brake lining/pad violations. Brake lining/pad conditions can result in violations and affect a motor carrier’s safety rating.

Of the 6,829 commercial motor vehicles inspected, 108 power units and 87 towed units had lining/pad violations. 

Operation Airbrake is a CVSA program dedicated to improving commercial motor vehicle brake safety throughout North America. It holds two annual brake safety campaigns each year – this initiative, which is the one-day unannounced brake safety inspection and enforcement initiative, and Brake Safety Week, which is scheduled for Aug. 20-26.