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N/A | National This is why we have Australian Standards for Helmets

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by Takamii, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. This is why we have Australian Standards for helmets which include constant monitoring and batch testing.

    So next time you whinge and complain about the costs of helmets in Australia - consider this article


    Motorcycle Helmet Maker Forced to End Production

    On its Web site, the motorcycle helmet manufacturer Advanced Carbon Composites warns buyers not to trust helmets made in China or India and instead to buy its American-made models. But the company’s helmets have been recalled so many times by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, that the agency has demanded that the company never make another motorcycle helmet.

    The agency’s demand stems from what the it says is the company’s failure to properly carry out three safety recalls since 2005.

    The recalls involve about 17,000 helmets that failed to meet safety standards, including puncture resistance. That resulted in the agency’s accusing the company of violating “various provisions” of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act. The problem was worked out with a consent order signed at the end of March by the company’s president, Kim L. Davis, that did not deny the violations.

    Mr. Davis also agreed to the agency’s demand that Advanced Carbon Composites stop designing, selling or manufacturing motorcycle helmets. In addition, motorcycle helmets can not be designed, sold or manufactured by any company of which Mr. Davis owns 3 percent or more.

    Mr. Davis, whose company is based in Orlando, Fla., did not respond to several requests for comment.

    According to the consent order, here’s what happened.

    In 2005, the company notified the agency that during testing, it found that its EXT 001 helmet did not provide enough protection to meet safety standards.

    As part of its recall effort, the company changed the interior of the helmet, which it designated as a new model, calling it the EXT 002. Then, rather than replace the defective EXT 001 helmets it had already sold, Advance Carbon Composites modified them, a move approved at the time by the safety agency.

    But the modified and recalled helmets still did not meet safety standards. Neither did the EXT 002. So in 2007 the company agreed to also recall the EXT 002.

    The company then modified the construction again, called that helmet the EXT 003 and retrofitted the recalled EXT 002 helmets.

    Those helmets still didn’t meet the safety standard. The company agreed to another recall in 2009, this time of the EXT 003. Once again it modified the design of the helmet, but that didn’t work, either.

    About five years after the first recall, N.H.T.S.A. undertook a civil enforcement action against the company, leading to the consent order. Under that order, the company has agreed to refund the purchase price of those helmets, and N.H.T.S.A. says “under no circumstances” is the company to try repairs. The company will also pay fines totaling $10,000. If the company does not comply, the case will go to federal district court, according to the consent order.

    Meanwhile, about two weeks after the consent order was completed, Advanced Carbon Composites notified N.H.T.S.A. that its model EXT 004 didn’t meet federal safety standards, either. The company says the owners of those 645 helmets will get a refund, not a repair.
  2. not really. this is a story about a helmet that doesn't meet a standard. If a helmet DOES meet an equivalent BS, DOT, Snell etc standard then why should consumers have to carry to cost of retesting just to meet AS?
  3. +1 ](*,)

    any supplier can refuse to do a product recall, and end up in the same situation
  4. Australian standards enforce constant batch testing to ensure quality and build meet the standard continually

    DOT standard is self certified by the manufacturer

    AS standard is certified by independent and approved 3rd party
  5. And so are the British, Snell, and European Standards, as far as I know DOT is the only self certified helmet standard...
  6. Surely a Snell compliant helmet in the US is the same as one here. So, why do I pay 2-3 times more to get AU compliance, when it already has Snell? What is AU compliance doing for me that Snell isn't?
  7. Read this post about snell and standards bro

    snell does not mean best

  8. Okay, maybe snell was a poor example as it is a very specific set of tests for racing. But BS6658 and ECE22-05 both certify helmets for road use. How are these inferior to AS1698? why do we need to recertify? many many other industries in many other countries accept an equivalence of standards. are we just too parochial or is it all about the money?
  9. If I remember rightly Snell is a hard standard ie the helmet has to withstand a quite big hit but is allowed to transfer quite a high load though to your head, the AU/NZ ECE and BS standards are for a softer helmet the peak loading isn't as high but doesn't allow allow for as much to be transferred to your head.

    The logic goes that the helmet might be intact, but at the amount of load a Snell helmet allows though your brain won't be...
  10. Snell is more concerned with penetration than impact - they want stiffer and stiffer shells so a foot peg for example doesn't go through your helmet

    however this means your head will bounce off the pavement and g forces transferred to the brain which will bounce around in your skull

    ECE and AS and BS -- want the helmet to cushion the blow so your brain doesn't get rattled around in your head bouncing off the inside of your skull numerous times

    I see snell more for cage racers --- stops any metal from the cage that may crumple crash and tear from penetrating the shell of the helmet while the driver is strapped into and cocooned in the car.

    where as we riders tend to be flung off into the distance some what and bounce around a lot
  11. Right, as far as I understand, helmets, not unlike tyres, can't be the best of all worlds. What works for best one setting (track environment) means it has to be a compromise for the other (low speed street setting). I don't know where AS falls in that regard, but bottom line, I STILL don't see the justification for the price premium.

    Seriously, two questions:
    1) What does AS standard really have over other standards -- and NOT just DOT or Snell, etc. I mean ALL of them.
    2) And is that even the *real* reason for the 50-100% price premium?

    From what I find so far, here are my answers to the above until proven otherwise.
    1) Nothing worth mentioning. Seriously. It's easy to pick and choose one point from one standard to another, but overall, there's no indication whatsoever that AS standard is on the whole, is markedly safer than me buying a DOT+Snell helmet in the US, BSI helmet in the UK, ECE helmet in EU, JSI helmet in Japan, etc.

    2) I doubt the sticker is the whole story. I can understand a small premium increase on the whole. But if El cheap factories can get AS1698 helmets on these shores for $49-$79, then I can't imagine the sticker alone adding $300-$500 helmet on an Shoei or an Arai compared to overseas models. Someone else in the supply chain is eating up the value IMO.
  12. Talk to the owners of Peter Stevens that family ( Chiodo ?) is the sole importer for your big brand helmets like shoei arai -- they do have ferraris to support and maintain maybe ?

    also consider the manufacturing process involved between making a mega mass produced plastic moulded helmet shell and a mass produced carbon fibre one using a pressurised and heated autoclave system that has a lot of hands on human involvement as well.

    plastic shell vs carbon fibre shell is apple vs banana
  13. My HJC IS-16, $300 here is currently on sale in the US for $79 (AU$88.2277), down from $119(AU$132.927) - only difference is a matalised sticker...
  14. I'm not sure where the plastic vs CF answer was in response to, but anyway, so what are you saying?

    Is the AS sticker really worth the extra money (and if so, WHHHHHY?) and we shouldn't biatch and moan, or are the incredibly high helmet prices a rort by the individual importers (which is what I suspected)?
  15. I have been told that the high cost of accessories for us riders is to protect the Australian motorcycling industry...ermm....it's not the industry that manufactures Ozzy motorbikes..there are none..so I'm guessing the 'protection' we pay for is the lining of importers pockets.
  16. The last Aussie manufacturer of helmets was shut down by SAI about 6 years ago I beleive
  17. And how are your helmets coming along there Moto?

    Keen to upgrade soon
  18. in the lab undergoing the impact retention penetration tests etc

    so I would say another 5 to 10 days ( over 50 helmets to be tested and destroyed ouch my hip pocket hurts )

    then about 4 weeks for the certification part

    cant make it happen fast enough unfortunately

    will keep people posted and I sincerely thank you for your interest
  19. From the above responses regarding Snell for cars and AS for bikes, I assume then that the Snell 2005 and FIA equivalent helmets required for MotoGP riders, and all other major bike race categories, are worse for the heads of the mega star riders, than the $79 Aldi AS1698 approved helmets.

    Yeah right.......

    Personally I find it ridiculous that I am not permitted to ride on the road with my CF Simpson helmet, but can't race in a helmet that doesn't have Snell 2005 even if it has AS1698.

    I am talking race here, not track days.