Bicycle Recall Issued Over Fall Hazards Associated with Stout Cranks
Bicycle manufacturer Specialized Bicycle Components has issued a recall of their bikes that use Stout cranks. The Stout cranks impacted by the recall can disengage causing the rider to lose control of the bike and potentially suffer serious fall-related injuries.
Bicycle Products Subject to the Recall
About 1,800 bicycles were recalled. The affected bikes were sold under the brand names Specialized Fuse Comp and Fatboy SE bikes, both of which used Stout cranks. These bikes sold for between $1,400 and $1,500 in dealers across the United States. Consumers are instructed to check the Stout crank and determine if the word “STOUT” is on the crankarms. The recalled bikes were manufactured in 2017. To check the manufacturing year, customers can look at the serial number printed on the crankarms. If the number begins with “17,” then the crank was manufactured that year.
While no injuries have been reported in connection with the defective cranks, consumers who purchased the recalled bicycles are instructed to discontinue use of the bike. Specialized Retailers are offering free replacement components.
The Previous Bike Recalls
While the Stout recall has not been connected to any severe injuries, in the past, defective bicycles have injured riders, in some instances, severely. In 2015, bike manufacturer Trek issued a massive recall of nearly one million bikes across the United States and Canada. The Trek bikes were equipped with quick-release levers on the front wheels. The device could come in contact with the front disc brake assembly and cause the wheel to separate from the bike, or for the wheel to stop abruptly.
The defective Trek bikes caused three reported accidents all of which led to injuries. In the most serious instance, the rider was permanently paralyzed.
In June of 2018, Ikea also issued a recall of its Sladda bicycles. The bikes, which were sold I Europe and the United States, retailed for $399. The Sladda was designed to use a belt drive rather than a metal chain. The belt drive was meant to reduce the need for maintenance, leading to a simple device designed for city commuters and novice cyclists. However, the belt drive could snap, and the company received reports of two injuries resulting from the snapped belt drive. The company could not swap out the belt drive, and so they have offered a full refund to all consumers who purchased the Sladda.
Product recalls are typically issued by companies after a safety issue is discovered with a product. The government has some oversite, and in the event that a company refuses to issue a recall, a government agency, such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) can force the issuing of a recall.
Companies often volunteer to recall products as a way to limit their liability and prevent lawsuits stemming from defective products. In many cases, the company will offer to fix a product, replace a product, or issue a refund to consumers who purchased the defective product. Recalls are therefore expensive to companies, and it is important that companies feel compelled to issue a recall rather than leaving defective products on the market. Many recalls are issued before any injuries have been reported, but when product testing indicates a potential flaw that could result in injuries.
Can companies issue a recall to avoid liability?
A company will decide to issue a recall to avoid damage to their brand and legal costs. However, recalling a product will not absolve the company of liability in the event that a product injures a person. Manufacturers still have an incentive to issue the recall because failing to issue a recall can result in far greater legal costs. A company that willfully refuses to recall a potentially dangerous product can risk being forced to pay punitive damages to any injured consumers and can also face fines from the government.
It is also important to note that issuing a recall is not considered an admission that the company will be liable for any injuries caused by the product.
When is a product defective?
A product can be defective because the design is flawed, because something went wrong during the manufacturing process, or because the product did not include adequate warnings about the risks the product presents. A product will be deemed defective if it presents a risk of harm when it is used as it is intended to be used. If a bike wheel can fall off while a person is riding the bike, then that product would be defective. If a rider put a motor on a regular bike and had it traveling far above the speed it was intended to travel, and the bike did not hold up, this would not be a product defect, because the bike was not intended to be used with a motor.
When a person suffers injuries because of a defective product, then that person has the right to hold the company who manufactured or sold the product liable for the damage that the product caused. The right of consumers to hold corporations liable when they create dangerous products is a big part of what keeps consumers safe.
Why Choose Parker Waichman LLP?
At Parker Waichman LLP, we believe that consumers should be able to have confidence that the products that they purchase are safe and will not cause them injuries. If a company creates a product that harms people, then that company should be held responsible for the harm that they caused.
Our attorneys have recovered more than $2 billion in verdicts and settlements for our clients. We understand how important it is for injured people to have a strong advocate when taking on corporations and our experienced attorneys strive to obtain maximum compensation for victims of defective products.
Free Case Review
If you or a loved one have been harmed due to a defective bicycle, or any other bike product, contact Parker Waichman LLP today at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) for a free consultation with one of our experienced Specialized stout crank lawsuit attorneys.
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