Friday, 30 April 2010

Motorcycle Helmet Manufacturer Ordered to Cease Production Because of Safety Issues

If there's one piece of advice that a California brain injury lawyer would give a rider to increase his chances of getting home safe, it would be to wear a motorcycle helmet.

Wearing a helmet dramatically reduces a person's chances of suffering a moderate or serious traumatic brain injury. A study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last year revealed that wearing a helmet also reduced a person's chances of being hospitalized after a motorcycle accident. This month, a study by the Highway Data Loss Institute found that motorcyclists in those states that have mandatory helmet laws are less likely to file an injury claim after an accident.

None of this is news to California brain injury attorneys. However, any lawyer or motorcycle safety experts would stress the importance of wearing an approved, well-designed, well manufactured, strong helmet.

A Florida-based motorcycle helmet company has been ordered to stop manufacturing helmets because of safety risks. The company, Advanced Carbon Composites has been ordered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, never to produce motorcycle helmets again. That dramatic step comes because of the company's failure to initiate recalls properly.

According to the New York Times, in 2005, the company notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that its EXT 001 helmet did not meet federal safety standards, including those for puncture resistance. It announced a recall, and agreed to modify the interior of the helmet. The newly designed helmet was called the EXT 002. However, the modified helmet also did not meet federal safety standards. In 2007, the company initiated another modification project, redesigning the EXT 002 helmets, and renaming the new models, EXT 003. These new helmets also did not meet standards set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Finally, the agency was forced to take civil enforcement action against Advanced Carbon Composites. That has led to a consent order, according to which the company will refund the price of the helmets. It will not, under any circumstances, undertake repairs or modification of the defective helmets. The company has also been $10,000 in penalties. As a final step, the company has been ordered to cease the design, production and sales of helmets altogether.

Obviously, wearing a defective helmet can be as useless as wearing no helmet at all.

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