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Council Lifts Ban on Buying Trash Trucks From 2 Firms

March 02, 1996

Despite protests over safety, the Los Angeles City Council voted narrowly Friday to continue purchasing automated trash trucks and parts from the companies that manufactured the vehicle whose malfunction Dec. 6 killed two third-grade boys.

Fearing that the trash truck fleet would be grounded and that the city could be sued for breach of contract, the council voted 8 to 3 to lift an emergency moratorium on purchasing the trucks that it had passed Tuesday in the wake of a Times article revealing that the city continued buying from Amrep Inc. and Inland Empire White GMC after employees raised serious questions about their products' reliability.

The council also voted Friday to ask the Ethics Commission and the city attorney's office to investigate, including potential criminal wrongdoing, and formed a task force to monitor vehicle purchases weekly.

But some members denounced the lifting of the moratorium.

"Why do we have to keep buying the trucks? Are we going to wait until more people are killed by the new trucks?" demanded Councilman Joel Wachs.

Also voting against lifting the moratorium were Rita Walters and Mike Hernandez.

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