April 22, 2003

NexL model 02 motorcycle helmets don’t meet safety standards

Washington, D.C. – 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, California, do not comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 218, “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.

The Initial Decision follows an investigation that began 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.

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