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Online retailer fined $54k for selling bikes without front brakes

Bulk goods online retailer Container Door has been fined $54,000 for selling bikes without a front brake following a Commerce Commission investigation.

Bicycles (file picture). Source: istock.com

Container Door sold 15 Huffy Cruiser bikes between 1 April and 23 November 2017 that did not have a front brake installed and didn’t have the required information for sale.

During sentencing at the Auckland District Court yesterday, Judge David Sharp said it was “highly careless” offending and that “cyclists are vulnerable”.

Along with the missing brakes, the bikes weren’t marked with the manufacturer, importer or supplier’s details and the packaging didn’t have a warning to recommend that they be put together by a skilled mechanic, according to the Commerce Commission.

Container Door earlier plead guilty to two representative charges under the Fair Trading Act 1986.

The retailer sought a discharge without conviction but Judge Sharp declined to enter it, saying the consequences of a conviction were not out of all proportion to the gravity of the offending.

Antonia Horrocks of the Commerce Commission says the company was supplying bikes that put riders, pedestrians and road users at risk of serious harm because there was no front brake.

“This impeded a rider’s ability to stop and control their bike,” says Ms Horrocks.

Container Door recalled the bikes after being contacted by the Commission and Judge Sharp noted that Container Door was co-operative.

Ten of the bikes were returned, three people chose to keep theirs and one didn’t respond. One other bike was supplied to Container Door’s owner.

Container Door has been contacted by 1 NEWS but at the time “there was no one available” for comment.