It felt like the Norton saga was almost over, with the TVS buyout, new factory opening and the company adamant that it was going to write its wrongs. Well, today, a large list of urgent recalls has been released for 2019 and 2020 V4SS models. The recalls were announced on models built under the previous management; the less said, the better on that apart from it’s no surprise.
The new Norton team evaluated previous practices and quality systems used by the previous team and found gaps and problems with the old 19/20 specification. The list reads with 35 faults, 25 of them serious/dangerous/safety-critical, which could be dangerous to the rider.
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Of course, the new Norton and its owners are distancing themselves from the mistakes made by the previous regime but is prepared to take on the financial responsibility for fixing all of the issues with the affected V4SS models.
“As part of an ongoing quality assessment and product development program for V4-SS models manufactured by NMUL Realisations Limited, we have identified certain defects and safety concerns on V4-SS bikes sold to customers in 2019 and in early-2020. Under the guidance of the DVSA, we are in direct contact with all affected registered V4-SS owners to address the safety issues in relation to the faults that have been identified”Norton CEO John Russell
This statement firmly points the finger at former CEO Stuart Garner, who was in charge when the previous Norton and its assets went into administration. The pension scandal rocked the motorcycle world, however, the buyout by TVS and distancing afterwards separates the old and new Norton’s.
We have all heard the stories, pictures and read the articles about the old Norton’s practices, some of which were dodgy at best.
“Since acquiring the company last year, we have been carrying out due diligence and product review protocols that we follow to strict measure in order to ensure the safety of the customers that ride the motorbikes which bear the famous Norton name. As a result of that process, we have discovered 35 potential defects in total that fall into one of three categories, either a safety recall, a check and replace if required, or a service action. While the ‘new Norton’ management was not involved in the production and supply of these bikes and is not responsible for the cause of these faults, we are voluntarily taking certain actions under the guidance of the DVSA to assist with potential safety problems and to ensure the good name of Norton continues. We appreciate that the owners of these bikes will be concerned. We are advised by the Liquidators that affected owners may be able to make a claim for the costs of repairs to NMUL Realisations Ltd (in Liquidation) as part of the Liquidation and have worked with the Liquidators to ensure that those owners have been told how such claims should be made.”Norton CEO John Russell
Despite this, and the original £44,000 selling price, models are still around for sale, at a higher price than Norton’s original price. Models for sale are listed up at £50,000, but would you be brave enough to buy one? Me, maybe not.
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