The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced that Bad Boy Enterprises, LLC of Natchez, Miss., has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $715,000. The penalty settlement agreement has been provisionally accepted by the Commission.
According to the CPSC, the settlement is the result of allegations that Bad Boy Enterprises failed to immediately report, as required by federal law, a defect involving Classic Buggies off-road utility vehicles with Series brand and SePex brand electric motors that resulted in sudden acceleration incidents and injuries to consumers. The off-road utility vehicles with Series motors were sold between 2003 and June 2007 and the off-road utility vehicles with a SePex motors were sold between 2007 and June 2010. Both the Series and SePex off-road utility vehicles could suddenly accelerate during use or while the ignition is in the idle position, creating a runaway vehicle situation.
In 2008, Bad Boy Enterprises implemented a repair program for the SePex off-road utility buggies to address the sudden acceleration defect without notifying the Commission. The firm did not report to the Commission until August 2009. CPSC and Bad Boy Enterprises announced the first recall for sudden acceleration on October 21, 2009.
Subsequent investigation conducted by CPSC staff uncovered that the firm failed to notify the Commission about the sudden acceleration defect and incidents involving the off-road utility vehicles with a Series motor. The firm did not give CPSC full information about the Series buggies until May 2010. The firm also reported in May 2010 that a new repair was necessary for the previously recalled off-road utility vehicles to repair the sudden acceleration defect. The second recall for sudden acceleration in these off-road utility vehicles was announced in December 2010. By that time, there were over 50 reports of sudden acceleration incidents, resulting in injuries such as arm and leg fractures, a fractured toe, rotator cuff injury, and sore muscles.
In agreeing to the settlement, Bad Boy Enterprises denies CPSC staff allegations as to the existence of a defect or hazard or that it violated the law.
These off-road utility vehicles were sold nationwide by authorized dealers from Spring 2003 through June 2010 for about $10,000.
Federal law requires manufacturers, distributors and retailers to report to CPSC within 24 hours after obtaining information reasonably supporting the conclusion that a product contains a defect, which could create a substantial product hazard, creates an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death, or fails to comply with any consumer product safety rule or any other rule, regulation, standard or ban enforced by CPSC.