A federal investigator has disclosed to Spectrum News inspection documents that detail violations Prestige's limo fleet has seen over the past couple of years.
Michael Rosenthal runs Today's Limousine in Watervilet, which has been in business for 27 years.
He says safety is top priority for many limo services in the Capital Region.
"It's all about the training. It's about going to your inspections every six months," Rosenthal said.
However, officials say the limo in the deadly Schoharie crash should never have been on the road. The paperwork shows Prestige Limousine did not pass the proper state Department of Transportation inspections over the past two years. An inspection back in March showed 25 percent of the brakes did not work on the converted 2001 Ford Excursion limo involved in the crash.
Rosenthal says the DOT will immediately flag vehicles that don't pass their strict standards.
"If you don't stop in the required amount of time, you fail. And once you fail you get a big red sticker on your windshield that says ‘out of service,’" he said.
Rosenthal adds most companies repair the violation and get re-inspected in 48 hours.
However, according to the owner, there's only one way to get around fixing it.
"They would've had this red sticker on, and I'm assuming they would've had to scrape it off to send it out,” he said.
At Albany Light Truck and Repair, they don't specialize in limos. However, they say because of the way a limo is stretched, even minor issues could be major safety hazards.
"Unless you're equipping the vehicle to handle more weight, shocks, suspension, all that stuff, it just can't handle the weight," said service manager Vinny Ciccarelli.
Paperwork also shows that the limo was never insured correctly. According to the violation, Prestige's limo should've been categorized as a 'bus' because it had 15 or more seats.
Rosenthal says that's an easy thing passengers can look for on a license plate before they board.
"It would basically say ‘livery’ and that's the same as a taxi cab, so that would say livery and it means that the car is livery insured," he said.
Investigators have still not determined if any vehicle malfunctions played a role in this crash.