An Anderson-based company that sells minibikes and go-carts has agreed to a $4.3 million settlement with the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The federal safety officials claimed Baja Inc. and its corporate affiliate, One World Technologies Inc., failed to immediately report safety problems with 11 models of minibikes and go-carts. The vehicles were sold for six years until their 2010 recall.
CPSC officials said Baja received at least four reports of fires from leaking gas caps, burn injuries and stuck throttles, but did not immediately report them as required by law. Federal law requires manufacturers, distributors, and retailers to report within 24 hours after obtaining information that reasonably leads them to conclude that a product contains a defect which could create an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death.
As a condition for the settlement, Baja and One World do not admit the vehicles had a defect, or that the company failed to notify CPSC in a timely manner.
In fact, the company questioned if the fires could even blamed on faulty gas caps, maintaining the caps were either not available or too badly damaged to examine in three of the cases. In its court filing, the company said the fourth incident appeared to come from a damaged fuel line on a bike that had not been properly maintained, not the gas cap.
Baja also questioned the CPSC claims that stuck throttles were due to faulty design, insisting the throttles could have jammed by debris hanging up the throttle cable or in the carburetor; worn or broken cable, or other damage caused by poor maintenance or misuse of a vehicle.