Periodic or Annual Inspections: Overview
The Regulations require the periodic inspection of a CMV, commonly referred to as “the annual.” The CMV must pass the inspection at least once a year using the criteria set forth by the FMCSA. The components of the required inspection are the “minimum.” There are various ways in which a motor carrier may comply with the periodic inspection duty. This inspection is distinguishable from the IMR requirements imposed by vehicle manufacturers.
It is not unusual to find that a CMV involved in a crash lacks a “current annual” and therefore arguably should not have been on the road. However, there is a proximate causation hurdle to clear before a jury question will arise from the lack of annual. The court will need to be shown that the missed annual would have revealed a defect or deficiency that contributed to the collision.