Note: Firm out of business. Do not use these products. Discard or destroy these products.



August 31, 2000


Release # 00-176

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Empire Industries, of Tarboro, N.C., recalled about 113,000 battery-powered children's riding vehicles, marketed as "Power Drivers" or "Buddy L," for repair. The vehicles' battery chargers can overheat, presenting fire and injury hazards to children.

CPSC and Empire have received about 100 reports of chargers overheating, melting or burning. Five house fires have been reported resulting in at least $100,000 in property damage. One child and one adult received burns to hands on overheated charger jacks.

The Power Driver vehicles being recalled are powered by two 6-volt batteries, and were manufactured from July 1995 to December 1996. The vehicles are made of plastic and were sold under the following model names: Go-Kart, Beach Splash, Sun Dream, Trail Tracker, Rescue Patrol, and Chevy Z-71 Pick-Up Truck. The model name "Power Drivers" or "Buddy L" appear on each vehicle. The company will help consumers identify if their model is part of the recall. Power Driver vehicles are intended for children 3 to 8 years old, and the vehicles' speed ranges from 2.5 to 5 mph, depending on the model.

Toy stores and retail catalogs sold the vehicles nationwide from July 1995 through December 1997 for about $130 to $250.

Consumers should stop using the vehicles immediately. Empire Industries is no longer in business and cannot provide charger adapters or other replacement parts. Consumers should discontinue use of these products, and discard or destroy them.

Children's Riding Vehicle