HondaMPE sends lawyer’s letter to Australian manufacturer of safety devices 7


Just over a week after Australia’s national safety authority, Safe Work Australia, slammed the quad bike and all terrain vehicle manufacturers over shortsightedness on safety, Honda MPE has sent legal correspondence to an Australian manufacturer of crush protection devices (CPD), Quadbar Industries, over the wording of a sticker.

Norton Rose Letter to QuadbarIn the letter Peter Cash of Norton Rose Australia says that his client HondaMPE believes that a sticker on each Quadbar identified as a “compliance plate” may misled or deceive “members of the public and, in particular, prospective purchasers of your device”, and potential purchasers of Honda quad bikes.

The wording of the sticker is:

“COMPLIANCE PLATE

Certification/ fitment contact

Manufacturer 118 Industries

http://www.quadbar.com

7 Margaret St Clifton, Qld Aust.

MAXIMUM VEHICLE WEIGHT 300kg

Model/ Serial Number

401-IS/00040″

SafetyAtWorkBlog is not in a position to dispute the contents of the letter but, although the complaint may be legitimate, it is a curious action to be taken by HondaMPE.  The company is not making any claims about the safety or otherwise of the Quadbar product.

Honda has been involved in a campaign about CPDs and quad bike safety for some years.  They, and their industry representatives, the Federated Chamber of Automotive Industries, have lobbied their dealers over the fitting of CPDs and supported and distributed posters against CPDs. But the letter above mentions none of these concerns.

It appears that Honda objects to the Quadbar sticker being labelled as a “compliance plate”.  After years of objecting to the existence of CPDs such a letter, on such an issue, seems to be pedantic and petty.  Honda may be right but why has it chosen a sticker with possibly inaccurate wording to be THE matter that has generated a lawyer’s letter, with a mention of possible “legal proceeding”, to an Australian manufacturer of a device that is claimed to save the lives of farmers. Very odd.

Kevin Jones

7 comments

  1. I wonder what the damages in a case like this would be? I have two Honda quads fitted with Quadbars and would love to hear how I may have been misled or deceived by the stickers.

  2. Just to clarify: I am certainly not planning to pursue Quadbar! I’d never imagined that a sticker making no claims of compliance with any standard was intended to do so.

    From this Honda customer’s perspective, the letter says more about Honda than it does about Quadbar.

    Positioning yourself as mean and tricky will never be a PR winner.

  3. I will be responding to honda through my lawyer, so I can’t reveal my hand here. But I will say that I do not believe I have engaged in “misleading or deceptive conduct” and do not intend to comply with their demands.

  4. Wonder if it’a ploy to get a list of quad bar customers? It would be good if FCAI and the manufacturers got their well resourced acts together and developed a machine that minimises the chance of being hurt when usual (not optimal) use. If car makers took the quad bike industry’s approach they wouldn’t be advertising upgraded safety features because everyone knows crashes are caused by people who make mistakes, go faster than the speed limit, drink drive, take drugs or have a health issue. Despite the fact that drivers don’t always do the right thing, cars are constantly getting safer, because car makers know their customers are important. Someone should do a safety comparison of cars vs quad bikes from 20 years ago. It would be interesting to see how they’ve evolved.
    .

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