The largest Honda power sports dealership in the country is under investigation by both state and federal authorities for allegedly selling unsafe motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles (ATV), and dirt bikes.
Southern Honda Powersports in Chattanooga is under investigation by both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the U.S Attorney’s Office in Nashville and the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office after being accused by a former employee, Ernest Vickers III, who was a marketing consultant at the dealership, for assembling 25,000 motorcycles, ATV’s and dirt bikes unsafely from February 2004 through May 2007.
Vickers and nine other former Southern Honda employees claim the unsafe assembly continued through at least 2010, and that the dealership illegally sold tens of thousands of new vehicles during this time frame that were under the federal government’s safety recall without first correcting the problems. Vickers sent emails, letters and a signed affidavit by the employees about the alleged safety problems to American Honda, NHTSA, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), but none of the agencies either contacted him to discuss the safety allegations or took enforcement action. If Vickers accusations are true, this means that tens of thousands of people may be riding potentially unsafe vehicles and it also points to the ineffectiveness of federal safety regulators.
Consumer auto safety advocate, Sean Kane of Safety Research & Strategies stated, “It is extremely troubling that NHTSA did not independently investigate the claims brought to them by Mr. Vickers … unfortunately, this appears to be in line with a trend that NHTSA believes its ‘regulatory partners’ are the companies it regulates rather than the motoring public.”
Tim Kelly the owner of Southern Honda Powersports denies Vickers allegations, saying the alleged assembly problems are “utter balderdash.” He stated that some vehicles were delivered before recall work was performed, but owners were notified and repairs were made. “Safety is our first priority,” Kelly said.
NHTSA, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Nashville and the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office all confirmed they are investigating Southern Honda’s alleged sales of vehicles that were under recall.
If you have been injured due to a motorcycle, ATV or dirt bike accident, it is important that you contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. An experienced Nashville personal injury attorney will address your legal issues and will provide you with not only compassionate representation, but with the aggressive representation you need to pursue the compensation you deserve.