WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The staff of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety
Commission (CPSC) is warning consumers who own a Kazuma Meerkat 50 Youth
All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) that children are at risk of injury or death
due to multiple safety defects with this off-road vehicle. The ATVs,
which were imported by Kazuma Pacific Inc., of Stafford, Texas, were
found to have several serious defects. CPSC staff has determined that
the Meerkat 50 lacks front brakes, has no parking brake, is missing a
neutral indicator light, and can be started in gear. Additionally, the
owner's manual does not contain complete information on safe operation
and maintenance of the ATV.
CPSC staff recommends that consumers stop using the product immediately
because it is unsafe. The staff recommends that consumers demand a
refund of the purchase price from the importer or dealer due to the
defective condition of the ATV.
The risk with these ATVs is severe because these vehicles are intended
for children age 6 to 11. In many cases, youth riders are just learning
how to operate an ATV and may not have the experience necessary to help
them avoid hazards associated with this product's defects.
Kazuma Pacific has refused to provide complete incident or injury
information for any of their products. Therefore, CPSC has been unable
to determine how many children have been injured. Between December 2006
and May 2007, Kazuma Pacific has impeded CPSC's efforts to protect the
safety of children, by refusing to implement a corrective action plan
for this ATV.
Kazuma Pacific has sold at least 2,700 Meerkat 50 ATVs and has stated
that they are continuing to sell the units that CPSC staff found to be
defective. Kazuma dealers and Web retailers nationwide have sold this
ATV since 2003 for between $525 and $825.
CPSC staff is requesting that consumers immediately report any incidents
involving the Kazuma Meerkat 50 to the CPSC Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or
to the CPSC Web site at www.cpsc.gov