Norton V4 SS urgently recalled as investigation reveals serious safety defects

Norton V4 SS sold between 2019 and early-2020 are recalled immediately after serious safety defects in final months of Stuart Garner's leadership uncovered

Norton V4 SS

Norton Motorcycle has confirmed it is moving to recall its V4 SS sportsbike after dozens of faults and safety issues were discovered on units sold to customers in 2019 and early-2020 under its now ousted management team.

A review into production practices and quality control by Norton's new structure, representing new owners TVS Motors, revealed the 2019-20 specification V4 SS - which carries a hefty £44,000 price tag - to have as many as 35 different faults that would put the motorcycle and a rider at risk.

Though TVS and the incumbent management structure stress Norton as it is today is in no way responsible for the defects, it will move to assist customers by identifying these faults and then lending technical knowledge to identify parts required. The cost for repairs though is to be claimed by owners and will be directed towards the ‘old’ Norton via the liquidators.

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“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,” revealed Norton CEO John Russell

“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.”

The timeline would appear to point the finger of blame squarely at the former structure under disgraced former CEO Stuart Garner, who was in charge when Norton slipped into administration in February 2020 amid a pensions fraud scandal that remains under investigation but is now considered separate from 'new' Norton.

Despite the close brush with collapse, Norton was rescued by new owners TVS Motors, which have spent the past 15 months injecting fresh investment, restructuring its working practices and fulfilling outstanding orders.

However, in the process of ensuring good quality control going forward, an investigation in conjunction with NUML showed Norton between 2019 and 2020 were allowing unroadworthy V4SS motorcycles into owners hands.

This backs up claims from former employees and customers who accused Norton of stripping down bikes in for a service to use parts for new models in order to meet waiting lists that stretched into years.

“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.”