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Safety warning issued on Chinese ATV (Health)

posted by bibleprobe(R) Homepage, Mass., 06.07.2007

Safety warning issued on Chinese ATV

By Steve Hirsch
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
June 6, 2007

The government yesterday warned that children could be injured or killed because of major defects in an all-terrain vehicle produced in China.
The Kazuma Meerkat 50 Youth All-Terrain Vehicle, imported by Kazuma Pacific Inc., of Stafford, Texas, has no front brakes, no parking brake and is missing a neutral indicator light.

In addition, the vehicle can be started in gear and the owner's manual does not contain complete information on its operation and maintenance, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which is in charge of product recalls.

Wickedpowersports.com, an online retailer, lists the Meerkat 50 at $645 and describes it as "without a doubt the most popular Youth ATV/Kids ATV to come out of China," and as "recommended" for 6-year-olds.

However, the Texas company is not cooperating with the CPSC, and the agency's lack of a chairman is preventing it from asking an administrative law judge to force the company to recall the vehicle.

The commission cannot force a recall if a company does not cooperate without going to either an administrative law judge or federal court.

Commission spokesman Scott Wolfson said it has been "many years" since the commission announced a unilateral safety warning about a product in a case in which the company refused to conduct a recall.

The commission said Kazuma Pacific refused to provide complete incident or injury information for any of its products, so the CPSC could not figure out how many children may have been injured.

Between December and May, the company "impeded CPSC's efforts to protect the safety of children" by refusing to implement a plan to fix the ATV's defects.

The company did not return telephone or e-mail requests for comment yesterday.

It has sold at least 2,700 Meerkat 50 ATVs and has said it will continue to do so.

Kazuma dealers and Web retailers nationwide have sold the vehicle since 2003 for $525 to $825.

 


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