At possibly the climax of motorcycle riding season, one of the largest motorcycles companies made huge announcements. In July 2014, Harley-Davidson announced the recall of 66,421 motorcycles. The company recalled the 2014 model Touring and CVO Touring motorcycles, specifically any bikes made between July 1, 2013 and May 7, 2014. An investigation determined that the front wheel would lock without warning. The defect has caused 5 accidents. USA Today reports that “the snafu occurs when a brake line in front is pinched between the fuel tank and the frame, causing the front brake fluid pressure to increase and increasing the risk that the front wheel could lock up while riding.” The defect can be fixed at the dealer by replacing the brake lines and installing straps to keep them in place.
In August 2014, Harley-Davidson made another recall announcement. More than 3,300 FXDL Dyna Low Rider motorcycles were recalled due to faulty ignitions. If you remember, this is the same defect that plagued General Motors and Chrysler early this year. Modifications were made to the bikes to allow the engine to rev up to 5,600 RPMs. According to Harley-Davidson, vibrations from the engine can cause the ignition switch to turn from “on” to “accessory.” When the switch turns to “accessory” the bike shuts off, even while it is being driven – increasing the risk of a crash. There are no reports of any crashes due to the ignition switch defect, fortunately. For those bikes that experienced a higher than 5,600 RPMs, Harley-Davidson accounts it to some aftermarket modification that allowed the engine to reach such high RPMs.
Harley-Davidson will notify owners, and dealers will replace the engine mount bracket assembly and ignition switch knob, free of charge.
These recalls come after General Motors recalled over 17.3 million vehicles and Chrysler recalled another 1.7 millions vehicles for similar problems – ignition switches that could stall the engine. So far this year, over 40 million vehicles have been recalled in the auto industry. This number surpasses the record 30.8 million vehicles in 2004. Beginning in June, the massive recalls resulted in a federal safety investigation of ignition switch problems plaguing the entire automobile industry.
Defective Motor Vehicle Lawsuits
Being injured in accident due to a automobile defect creates a different standard a proof. Not necessarily a lesser or greater degree, but different. Unlike negligence cases where a plaintiff must prove a person acted carelessly, or below the standard of care of reasonable prudent person, such proof is not required for automobile defects.
Defective product liability claims fall under strict liability legal standard. A plaintiff must show:
- The injury was caused by an “unreasonably dangerous” defect, whether created during the design, manufacture or a failure to warn consumer of the defect;
- The injury was caused while the automobile was being used in the manner in which it was intended; and
- The vehicle has not been substantially altered or changed from the time it left the lot.
A defect can present itself within the electrical system, body/frame, engine assembly and numerous other parts of the vehicle. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Solnick & Associates LLC. Call us today at 215-481-9979 for a free consultation.