DETROIT — A California motorcycle helmet distributor is in trouble with the U.S. government over allegations that it failed to give refunds for helmets that won’t protect people in a crash.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says in documents posted Tuesday that it’s investigating Tegol Inc. of Los Angeles. The agency says it has 48 complaints from consumers that Tegol is not providing refunds for recalled helmets and isn’t responding to inquiries. Tegol also isn’t complying with requirements that it make quarterly reports on the recall’s progress despite numerous letters and warnings from the agency, the documents say.

The investigation covers nearly 62,000 helmets imported from China that were in five recalls dating to 2012. Agency tests found the problem with the helmets not protecting people. In some cases, the helmets may not stay secured to a person’s head in a crash, according to NHTSA.

Included are Hawk GLD-900 helmets as well as Outlaw V-5, Slim-G, AX-3, AX-4, TG-5, AX-30010, AX-30020 and AX-30030.

The company did not respond to several telephone and email messages seeking comment on Tuesday.