Kawasaki makes some very fine road vehicles. Unfortunately, it does seem as if they tried to be better than they really were. This can explain why they didn’t immediately inform the Consumer Product Safety Commission about their defective recreational off-road vehicles. They also intentionally understated the number of reports about defects they received from customers.
This sort of behavior ultimately resulted in a CPSC civil penalty of $5.2 million. The penalty settles the charges that the automaker failed to report to the federal agency that several of their vehicles were defective. These were the Teryx 800, Teryx4 750, and Teryx4 800. They were also charged with withholding information that indicated that their ROVs (recreational off-road vehicles) posed an unnecessary risk of death or serious injury.
Accident Reports show Problems
According to the safety commission, the automaker intentionally downplayed in its report to the CPSC the number of reports they received from consumers regarding the Teryx4 750. What’s more, they didn’t even indicate that they received any similar reports concerning the Teryx4 800 and Teryx 800.
The truth was that more than 400 reports were submitted to Kawasaki about how the floorboards in the Teryx4 750 cracked or broke even with normal use. Injuries were involved in 3 of those reports, and in 1 case the injuries were serious.
More than 150 reports also made their way to Kawasaki regarding the cracking floorboards of the Teryx4 800 and Teryx 800. Several injuries were also reported and in 2 cases the injuries were serious.
Federal law required the automaker to immediately notify the commission regarding the defect and the risk the posed to the owners of the same models, yet Kawasaki officials failed to do so. When did they finally make the reports to the commission, they only reported a single incident regarding the floorboard and failed to mention the other 400 reports that they certainly knew about. Kawasaki also failed to specify the number of injuries stated in the reports.
The commission voted 4 to 1 in approving the penalty. The automaker is also required to implement programs that will help ensure future compliance with the requirements of the Consumer Product Safety Act. These will include a system of improved procedures and internal controls.
However, this settlement did not require Kawasaki to admit that it violated the law.
Options for Owners of Defective Vehicles
That the automaker was not compiled to admit to any wrongdoing is unfortunately not a rare occurrence, and as product defect lawyers with an extensive work experience we’ve seen this happen time and again. However, if you find yourself injured due to a defective vehicle, we strongly urge you to consult a lawyer. We can help you find a legal solution to hold the manufacturer accountable for their defective products. Don’t just sit back and relax if you have a problem. If your motorcycle has issues make sure to call a San Diego motorcycle injury accident lawyer today.
The damages or settlements you may receive can pay for the cost of your repairs, medical treatments, and any lost income as a result of your injury. The government may not be able to get these huge corporations to admit to any wrongdoing—but a product defect civil suit can ensure you’re justly compensated for any loss and suffering.