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NHTSA Makes Preliminary Finding That NexL Motorcycle Helmets Do Not Comply with Safety Standard


The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has made an Initial Decision that NexL Sports Products’ “Beanie DOT Motorcycle Helmets” (model 02); made by NexL Sports Products (NexL) of Watsonville, CA, do not comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard for Motorcycle Helmets.  The agency also announced that it has reason to believe that NexL has not provided an adequate remedy for the noncompliance previously found to exist in its model 01 helmets, which were recalled in 2002.

Despite the resistance of many motorcycle riders to comply with the helmet laws in many states, NHTSA takes its role in regulating motorcycle helmets with the utmost seriousness.  Un-helmeted motorcycle accidents account for the vast majority of head-trauma patients in long-term care facilities; the first year costs alone average over $171,000 in medical costs.

An investigation was begun in June 2002 after compliance testing at two laboratories revealed multiple failures of the NexL model 02 helmets.  These helmets did not satisfy requirements for reducing impact forces, resisting penetration, staying on during a crash, and proper labeling.  Other failures occurred in testing conducted this year.  NexL has rejected the safety agency’s request to recall the model 02 helmets. 

In March 2002, the company agreed to recall 17,483 model 01 helmets that failed to comply with FMVSS No. 218.  NexL attempted to remedy more than 8,000 of those model 01 helmets by converting them to model 02 helmets.  In addition, NexL has manufactured and sold over 27,000 model 02 helmets.

And in a related story of product recall; NHTSA reminds parents of safety recall involving Graco’s Snugride Infant Seats.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today reminded consumers that Graco Children’s Products is conducting a safety recall involving 650,000 of its SnugRide infant car seats.

This safety recall, which Graco announced on March 12, involves certain infant seats with Model Numbers 8402, 8412, 8442, 8442L, 8443, 8443L, 8444, 8444L, 8446, 8446L, 8447, 8447L, 8448, 8448L, 8457, 8458, 8459, 8601, 8463, 8464, 8470, 8471, 8478 and C844342 that were manufactured between March 1, 2002, and March 6, 2003. 

Some of these seats may have missing hardware that is used to attach the carrier to the base.  If the hardware is missing, the carrier may not be securely attached to the base.  In the event of a sudden stop or vehicle crash, the carrier may detach from the base, possibly resulting in serious injury or death.

NHTSA Administrator Jeffrey W. Runge, M.D., strongly urged parents to inspect their SnugRide infant car seats.  Parents who find that a SnugRide infant seat does not have hooks or pins should not use the base and should call Graco at 1-866-473-0163 for a new base.  Inspection instructions are at the Graco web site on the World Wide Web.

The infant carrier may, however, be used in the car without the base. For proper instructions on installing the carrier in the car without the base, parents should consult an instruction manual.  Installation instructions are available online at Many communities also offer free car seat installation, usually through fire department resources or well-baby associations.  Check your yellow pages for additional information.



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