|Safety Defect Report Overview:
|The Coast Guard investigates consumer complaints about
recreational boats and related equipment when the situation
meets the following criteria:
The complaint relates to a boat or associated equipment
that is less than 5 years old.
The condition described is a violation of federal regulations
OR is safety related (that is, it is a defect that creates
a substantial risk of personal injury).
The defect causes a failure or dangerous condition that
occurs suddenly (that is, substantially without warning).
To report such a possible safety defect, use the online
Boat Owner's Report - Possible Safety Defect.
|USCG Investigation and Action:
|The Coast Guard evaluates each potential safety defect report on a case-by-case basis. If we determine there is a "substantial risk" defect, we then contact the manufacturer of the boat or associated equipment and notify them of our preliminary findings.
The manufacturer is given 30 days to rebut these findings or to begin correcting the problem. If we agree with a manufacturer's rebuttal, we close the case. If we believe there is a "substantial risk" defect, we can require the manufacturer to:
Determine what boats have the defect.
Notify first purchasers of the defect and its potential consequences.
Notify first purchasers of how the defect will be corrected.
Undertake to correct the defect.
If the manufacturer makes a good faith effort to correct the problem and the consumer refuses the offer, the Coast Guard will take no further action and close the file. Also, if the manufacturer has corrected the problem identified, but the consumer is still not satisfied, the Coast Guard will take no further action.
The Coast Guard has no authority to require a manufacturer to give a consumer a new boat or refund a consumer's money. The Coast Guard will also not get involved in a civil suit between a consumer and a boat manufacturer.
|The Coast Guard does not deal with defects or
conditions that are not considered a "substantial risk" defect.
For boat/equipment issues that do not constitute a safety defect,
please contact one of the following organizations:
Your state consumer protection agency (usually operated
in the State Attorney General's Office).
The Federal Trade Commission. For information about the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975, visit www.FTC.gov or call 202-326-3650.