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$5.2 million fine assessed in case involving defective products

Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing Corp. recently agreed to pay fines totaling $5.2 million after being accused of delays in reporting issues with some of the company's recreational vehicles. The vehicles considered to be defective products include three different models of the company's Teryx off-road vehicles. These automobiles, sold in Texas and elsewhere, are from the model years 2012 to 2016.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, three Teryx vehicles featured a defect capable of causing severe injury or death. Specifically, Kawasaki received over 400 reports about breaking and cracking floorboards in one of the models during the vehicles' normal operation. This occurred when debris outside of the vehicles impacted or penetrated the floorboards. Three such incidents led to injuries to consumers, with one injury being deemed serious. In addition, the company received over 150 reports about issues with two other models, with three of these incidents resulting in injuries, with one of these being serious.

The commission asserted that the company purposely misrepresented the floorboard issue to its employees by underreporting how many floorboard incidents had actually taken place. In addition, the company allegedly did not report the incidents when they involved a couple of the vehicle models in particular. According to federal law, the company was required to notify the commission immediately about the defect after discovering it, but it reportedly failed to do so.

When consumers in Texas are injured due to using defective products, this can easily keep them from being able to lead normal lives, such as going to work for an extended period of time. It can also lead to hefty medical bills depending on the nature of the injury. In such a situation, the injured consumer has the right to file a product liability claim, seeking damages, which -- if awarded -- may help with addressing monetary losses stemming from the use of the dangerous product.

Source: journalstar.com, "Kawasaki to pay $5.2 million fine for vehicle defects", Matt Olberding, June 21, 2017

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