The Consumers’ Foundation yesterday said recent inspections highlighted problems with a brand of bicycle helmets and that it has advised the authorities to order the products be taken off the shelves.
In recent years, with cycling becoming a favorite pastime, bicycle helmets have become an important matter for consumers.
The consumer group teamed up with the Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection (BSMI) last month to conduct product safety testing on different bicycle helmets sold at supermarkets, retail chains and specialty stores nationwide.
The safety testing conducted on the helmets included product composition, appearance, impact attenuation, strength of the chin strap, weight and product labeling, foundation chairman Hsieh Tien-jen (謝天仁) said.
While most helmets passed safety tests, inspectors found that one brand of helmet, GiD, manufactured by Shang Yang Industrial Co, failed the chin strap strength test.
Inspectors tested the strap and buckles by putting the helmet on a crash-test dummy, then applying pressure to the straps for two minutes. The straps and buckles were then checked for breakage, cracks, distortion and malfunction.
While the nine other brands of helmets that were inspected passed the test, the GiD helmet’s buckles broke.
The foundation said that because the buckles on the chin-strap broke too easily under pressure, it could be dangerous if a cyclist had an accident while wearing the helmet.
The bureau has ordered retailers to take the substandard helmet off the shelves immediately and investigate the reasons for the product’s poor performance, or face fines of between NT$100,000 (US$3,100) and NT$1 million.
Bureau inspectors will also increase the proportion of products made by Shang Yang that undergo safety testing.
Bureau officials said consumers should look for product safety stickers issued by the authorities when buying bicycle helmets. They should also buy new helmets rather than used ones and try them on to ensure a proper fit.
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