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Helmet maker ordered to stop making helmets

Four successive helmet models recalled in five years

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Apr. 29, 2010
Florida-based helmet manufacturer Advanced Carbon Composites has been ordered to cease designing, manufacturing and selling helmets by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Advanced Carbon Composites (ACC) produces half-shell helmets made of carbon fiber.

On Aug. 23, 2005, ACC initiated a recall campaign for its EXT-001 helmet because it did not meet the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards No. 218, which relates to protection from impact and penetration as well as labeling requirements. Following the recall, which included 1,195 helmets, ACC modified the manufacturing process for the inner liner of the EXT-001 to produce the EXT-002 helmet.

In Feb. 1, 2007, ACC recalled the EXT-002 helmet (5,109 units were recalled) because it too failed to comply with safety regulations. ACC modified the helmet once again, changing the fabrication process and altering the composition of the helmet’s shell and liner to produce the EXT-003.

The EXT-003 also failed FMVSS No. 218 and a third recall was initiated on April 21, 2009, with 10,780 EXT-003 helmets being recalled. ACC tried to modify the helmet once again, using a different shell material and liner. The new helmet, EXT-004, was also later recalled.

In March 2010, after 645 EXT-004 helmets were sold, the NHTSA issued a consent order to ACC. ACC was ordered to offer refunds for the EXT series helmets and stop trying to repair or replace them. ACC and its owner Kim Davis were also ordered to stop designing, manufacturing and selling motorcycle helmets. Additionally, any future company in which Davis owns more than 3% may not design, make or sell motorcycle helmets. Davis signed the consent order, and did not deny the violations.

ACC was ordered to pay a civil penalty of $10,000 to the United States. ACC continues to produce and sell kayak and whitewater rafting helmets.