Hundreds of recalled, defective vehicles have been discovered in the city's sanitation fleet, Comptroller Scott Stringer said Tuesday.
The comptroller's audit found that the city's Department of Sanitation kept over 500 cars that had been recalled for seatbelt failures, defective brakes, randomly-deploying airbags and ignitions that kept running even after the keys were removed.
The vehicles included Chevrolet, Ford, GMC, Honda, Nissan and Toyota cars and trucks with model years between 1997 and 2015. The defective cars were still in the fleet as recently as January.
Stringer has recommended the Department of Sanitation immediately work on getting the defective vehicles either repaired or retired out of the fleet.
"This should be common sense. It’s almost hard to believe this is happening. Defective seatbelts, broken airbags, and brake failures aren’t minor issues – they’re potentially deadly problems, both to city workers and to everyday New Yorkers on the street," Stringer said.
He says he's also ordered an audit of all agencies' vehicle fleets as a result of the findings.
The discovery was made during a routine audit of the department's E-ZPass and parking pass use. That broader audit found the department failed to properly monitor how employees were using their E-ZPasses, making it difficult to verify whether the toll payments were for appropriate, official use.
A message left with the Department of Sanitation was not immediately returned.