Faulty Wheelchair Lifts
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recently issued a press release regarding a civil penalty being brought against a wheelchair lift manufacturer. According to the NHTSA, the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) has fined the wheelchair lift manufacturer, Ricon Corp., $1.75 million. The announcement also included the fact that Ricon Corp. has agreed to increased oversight from the NHTSA due to the fact that they continued to sell defective wheelchair lifts even while they were issuing recalls to remedy potentially dangerous and deadly fire hazards.
The Defective Wheelchair Lifts
In September of 2012, Ricon recalled over 4,000 faulty wheelchair lifts, which were sold to bus and van manufacturers. The recall was issued because of a defective cable that could spark a fire. Apparently, Ricon went on with business as usual and ‘mistakenly’ continued to produce and sell wheelchairs with the dangerous defect. Over 350 more defective lifts were sold after the recall.
Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act
The company is now answering for violating the Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act. Not only did they sell defective equipment, they also violated federal safety regulations by failing to promptly notify the NHTSA about the matter. U.S. Transportation Secretary Foxx is calling on manufacturers to meet their safety obligations. He’s also warning manufacturers that they will be met with ‘strong enforcement action,’ if they don’t.
Ricon has admitted its violations of the Safety Act and other federal vehicle safety regulations and agrees for the next year to acknowledge any communication from the NHSTA in three business days or less. Additionally, they’re also required to develop internal written procedures to prevent future manufacture and sale of products that are already under recall for defects. They’re also going to report to the NHTSA every 90 days for the next year on the implementation of their procedures.
Injury Due to a Defective Product
If manufacturers aren’t providing safe products for consumers, they need to be held accountable. Whether you’ve been injured by a faulty airbag or a defective ignition switch, contacting an experienced defective products lawyer needs to be your top priority.