UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
In the Matter of
KUBOTA TRACTOR CORPORATION, a corporation.
DOCKET NO. C-3863
DECISION AND ORDER
The Federal Trade Commission having initiated an investigation of certain acts and practices of the respondent named in the caption hereof, and the respondent having been furnished thereafter with a copy of a draft complaint which the Bureau of Consumer Protection proposed to present to the Commission for its consideration and which, if issued by the Commission, would charge respondent with violations of the Federal Trade Commission Act; and
The respondent, its attorney, and counsel for the Commission having thereafter executed an agreement containing a consent order, and admission by the respondent of all the jurisdictional facts set forth in the draft complaint, a statement that the signing of said agreement is for settlement purposes only and does not constitute an admission by respondent that the law has been violated as alleged in such complaint, or that the facts as alleged in such complaint, other than jurisdictional facts, are true, and waivers and other provisions as required by the Commission's Rules; and
The Commission having thereafter considered the matter and having determined that it had reason to believe that the respondent violated the said Act, and that a complaint should issue stating its charges in that respect, and having thereupon accepted the executed consent agreement and placed such agreement on the public record for a period of sixty (60) days, now in further conformity with the procedure prescribed in Section 2.34 of its Rules, the Commission hereby issues its complaint, makes the following jurisdictional findings, and enters the following order:
IT IS ORDERED that respondent, Kubota Tractor Corporation, its successors and assigns, and its officers, agents, representatives, and employees, directly or through any corporation, subsidiary, division, or other device, in connection with the manufacturing, labeling, advertising, promotion, offering for sale, sale, or distribution of any lawn tractor or lawn and garden tractor in or affecting commerce, as "commerce" is defined in section 4 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. § 44, shall not misrepresent, in any manner, directly or by implication, the extent to which any such lawn tractor or lawn and garden tractor, or lawn tractor or lawn and garden tractor product line, is made in the United States.
PROVIDED, however, that a representation that any such lawn tractor or lawn and garden tractor, or lawn tractor or lawn and garden tractor product line, is made in the United States will not be in violation of this order so long as all, or virtually all, of the component parts of such product, or of all products in such product line, are made in the United States and all, or virtually all, of the labor in manufacturing such product, or of all products in such product line, is performed in the United States.
For purposes of this order, the terms "lawn tractor" and "lawn and garden tractor" shall mean products manufactured, labeled, advertised, promoted, offered for sale, sold, or distributed primarily for consumers to mow grass, including but not limited to respondent's T-Series lawn tractors and TG-Series lawn and garden tractors. Such products may be sold with or without attachments such as grass catchers, front blades, or snowblowers.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that respondent Kubota Tractor Corporation, and its successors and assigns, shall, for five (5) years after the last date of dissemination of any representation covered by this order, maintain and upon request make available to the Federal Trade Commission for inspection and copying:
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that respondent Kubota Tractor Corporation, and its successors and assigns, shall deliver a copy of this order to all current and future officers and directors, and to all current and future employees, agents, and representatives having responsibilities with respect to the subject matter of this order, and shall secure from each such person a signed and dated statement acknowledging receipt of the order. Respondent shall deliver this order to current personnel within thirty (30) days after the date of service of this order, and to future personnel within thirty (30) days after the person assumes such position or responsibilities.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that respondent Kubota Tractor Corporation, and its successors and assigns, shall notify the Commission at least thirty (30) days prior to any change in the corporation that may affect compliance obligations arising under this order, including but not limited to a dissolution, assignment, sale, merger, or other action that would result in the emergence of a successor corporation; the creation or dissolution of a subsidiary, parent, or affiliate that engages in any acts or practices subject to this order; the proposed filing of a bankruptcy petition; or a change in the corporate name or address. Provided, however, that, with respect to any proposed change in the corporation about which respondent learns less than thirty (30) days prior to the date such action is to take place, respondent shall notify the Commission as soon as is practicable after obtaining such knowledge. All notices required by this Part shall be sent by certified mail to the Associate Director, Division of Enforcement, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, D.C. 20580.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that respondent Kubota Tractor Corporation, and its successors and assigns, shall, within sixty (60) days after the date of service of this order, and at such other times as the Federal Trade Commission may require, file with the Commission a report, in writing, setting forth in detail the manner and form in which it has complied with this order.
This order will terminate on April 6, 2019, or twenty (20) years from the most recent date that the United States or the Federal Trade Commission files a complaint (with or without an accompanying consent decree) in federal court alleging any violation of the order, whichever comes later; provided, however, that the filing of such a complaint will not affect the duration of this order if such complaint is filed after the order has terminated pursuant to this Part. Provided, further, that if such complaint is dismissed or a federal court rules that the respondent did not violate any provision of the order, and the dismissal or ruling is either not appealed or upheld on appeal, then the order will terminate according to this Part as though the complaint had never been filed, except that the order will not terminate between the date such complaint is filed and the later of the deadline for appealing such dismissal or ruling and the date such dismissal or ruling is upheld on appeal.
By the Commission.
Donald S. Clark
ISSUED: April 6, 1999