UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20580
October 14, 1999
Director, President and Chief Executive Officer
Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A.
9950 Jeronimo Road
Irvine, CA 92618
Re: Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A., File No. 9923212
Dear Mr. Tsurutani:
The Division of Enforcement staff has conducted an investigation involving an allegation that Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. ("Kawasaki") has violated the Federal Trade Commission's "all or virtually all" standard for domestic country of origin claims and Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act.
Hangtags Kawasaki attached to all terrain vehicles and jet skis assembled in Lincoln, Nebraska, contained the statement "QUALITY WITH PRIDE FROM LINCOLN, NEBRASKA," along with an artist's rendition of an American flag, and a partial replication of the hangtag appeared in miniature form in other promotional materials. Although the amount of U.S. processing in Kawasaki's all terrain vehicles and jet skis assembled in Lincoln, Nebraska, may substantiate a qualified U.S. origin claim such as "Assembled in USA," it appears that an unqualified "Made in USA" claim may not be appropriate. Although Kawasaki does not believe that the hangtag or miniature replication makes an express or implied representation that Kawasaki's products are manufactured in the United States, Kawasaki has agreed to discontinue using them.
The staff has concluded that no compliance action against Kawasaki is indicated at this time. This action is not to be construed as a determination that a violation may not have occurred, just as the pendency of an investigation should not be construed as a determination that a violation has occurred. The Commission reserves the right to take such further action as the public interest may require.
Elaine D. Kolish
|cc:||Robert L. Sherman
Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP
399 Park Avenue
New York, New York 10022-4697