Go-Cart Maker Hit With $4.3M Penalty For Failing To Immediately Report Dangerous Defects

A South Carolina minibike and co-cart manufacturer agreed to pay $4.3m to settle charges from CPSC.

Through its recall power, the Consumer Product Safety Commission aims to protect Americans from unreasonable risks found in the things they buy.  And when companies  know about a defective product but don’t tell the CPSC right away, they can end up facing millions of dollars in penalties for delaying a recall. Just ask the South Carolina go-cart manufacturer hit with the agency’s largest-ever penalty.

The CPSC announced Tuesday that Baja Inc. and its corporate affiliate, One World Technologies Inc., agreed to pay a $4.3 million civil penalty to the agency to settle charges that the company failed to immediately report the defects and injury risks associated with 11 minibike and go-cart models that were recalled in 2010.

According to the initial recall, nearly 308,000 minibikes and go-carts contained gas caps that could leak or detach from the fuel tank, creating fire and burn hazards.

Tuesday’s settlement resolves charges that by the time Baja had submitted a full report to CPSC in July 2010, the company had already received four reports of fires from leaking gas caps and burn injuries to consumers.

Additionally CPSC says Baja implemented design changes to remedy consumer complaints about a stuck throttle, but did not notify consumers or the agency of the changes.

Under federal law, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers are required to report to within 24 hours of obtaining information reasonably supporting the conclusion that a product contains a defect which could create a substantial product hazard, create an unreasonable risk for serious injury or death, or fails to comply with any consumer product safety rule.

In addition to paying the $4.3 million penalty, Baja and One World must maintain a program designed to ensure compliance with the safety statutes and regulations enforced by the CPSC. As part of the settlement, Baja and One World did not admit wrongdoing.

Baja and One World Technologies Agree to $4.3 Million Civil Penalty, Internal Compliance Improvements for Failure to Report Defective Minibikes and Go-Carts [CPSC]

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