Experts warn consumers to think carefully before purchasing safety gear online, especially when it comes to head protection.
CBC market Investigations have revealed that some motorcycle helmets purchased from popular websites cracked and fell apart in a crash and the safety certifications on the helmets were counterfeit.
market I purchased a helmet for sale on Amazon, eBay, and Walmart’s marketplace that is advertised as being US Department of Transportation (DOT) certified. The manufacturers responsible for conducting the tests will include the letters “DOT” on the back of the helmet to indicate that the helmet meets or exceeds U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. This is one of the three safety certifications required for motorcycle helmets in Canada.
However, even though the helmet was advertised as safety-certified, market Experts found that each helmet failed some of the safety standards. This means that the DOT certification has been forged.
Chris Withnall, a senior engineer at the Biokinetics Institute in Ottawa who tested the helmet, said it could be “a matter of life and death.”
“A helmet may look like a motorcycle helmet, but it may not actually behave like a motorcycle helmet when you need it most.
rear market After telling Amazon, eBay, and Walmart about the helmet’s counterfeit safety certification, all platforms have removed the listings the show has identified.
An eBay spokesperson wrote in an emailed statement that it has invested millions of dollars in keeping its platform secure. An Amazon spokesperson said partners “are contractually obligated to ensure that their products comply with all applicable laws and Amazon policies,” and advised concerned consumers to contact customer service. A Walmart spokesperson wrote that sellers are responsible for “ensuring that their products meet all legal and regulatory requirements.”
market We also asked the US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to respond to the investigation. In an email, the agency wrote that it relies on a self-certification process and sometimes performs random testing on some helmets, but takes consumer feedback and complaints into account. It also said it would recall helmets if necessary and acknowledged that some retailers use fake DOT labels.
When buying a helmet, Milan Uzerak, Senior Bike Instructor at the Rider Training Institute, encourages riders to choose a reputable brand and try the helmet on.
“If something happens, you want to be sure that the helmet you’re wearing will protect you,” he said.
watch full market Research to see exactly how each helmet failed the test, and tips on red flags to look for when buying a helmet.