Trinity Industries Inc (NYSE:TRN)’s New Product Faces Discrimination From Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT)

Trinity Industries Inc (NYSE:TRN) has raised questions over the circumstances, under which the new Trinity Highway ET plus system is being tested. These concerns have also been backed by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, which stated that it has no confidence in the crash tests being performed by the VDOT. It is important to note here that TTI had originally designed the ET Plus system. Previously, FHWA and AASHTO had investigated the equipment for any signs of limitations, unique to the ET system.

The joint task force from FHWA and AASHTO had determined that there were no performance limitations to the ET system. However, the task force did accept that in the real world, situations might arise that might exceed the performance expectations of the ET guardrail system. Additionally, the task force recommended that the “Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware” criteria be followed. This was the second time a task force was sent to judge the performance of the new ET system. Even in the initial reports, the task force had identified the roadways and terminals to have cleared the crash tests.

Unfortunately, VDOT has been accused by TRN of conducting non-conventional crash tests. The company states that VDOT is aiming to make the product look bad, by making it fail in clearing the crash tests. This would eventually leave open room for litigation purposes. A statement from the company said that VDOT is trying to test the most tested highway safety product, unnecessarily. The statement also voiced concerns that their roadside safety product was being discriminated against others.

Initially, TRN had conducted a total of eight crash tests, all in line with FHWA and VDOT guidelines. In fact two of these crash tests were proposed by VDOT and both regulatory bodies were present at the time of testing. Furthermore, the outcome of these tests was further investigated by an independent professor from Virginia Tech.

Trinity Industries Inc (NYSE:TRN) maintained its share price of $24.29 during the September 22 session, but experienced an upward movement of 2.01% during the afterhours to close at $24.78.

About the Author

Erica is a graduate of New York University’s school of Journalism. She joined US Markets Daily as a general assignment reporter in January of 2008.

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