The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced a record $4.3 million settlement with two companies accused of not immediately informing the agency of defects in their minibikes and go-karts that resulted in serious burns for some users.
The agency alleged that Baja Inc. and One World Technologies Inc. had already received several reports of injuries and implemented design changes with their manufacturer. Baja told the CPSC about two defects in some minibikes and go-karts were distributed from 2004 until 2010. One of the defects caused the gas cap on 308,000 minibikes and go-karts to leak or detach, exposing riders to burn risks, according Law360.The second defect caused the throttle to stick, posing the risk of sudden acceleration, the CPSC said. When Baja reported the defect to the CPSC, it had already received about two dozen consumer complaints about stuck throttles, according to the agency. Federal law requires manufacturers, distributors and retailers to report information about defects to the agency within 24 hours, the CPSC says. Neither Baja nor One World Technologies admits fault and they said in a statement that they accepted the settlement to avoid “protracted litigation or other proceedings,” Law360 reports.
All of the affected vehicles were recalled in July 2010. By that time, the companies had settled several personal injury claims from consumers who were injured as a result of leaking fuel caps, according to the settlement.
Under the settlement with the CPSC, the companies have agreed to a program designed to ensure compliance with all safety statutes and regulations, including procedures for reviewing and referring incident reports and additional training for employees, Law360 reports.