Motorcycle defects are commonly involved in many products liability claims.  Like cars and other motor vehicles, motorcycles can be the subject of a defects recall.  This may occur if the motorcycle was designed improperly or was somehow dangerous to the public after it was introduced into the consumer market. 

Because of the many moving parts involved in a motorcycle, as well as the high-speeds associated with them, there can be many different types of motorcycle defects.  Some common motorcycle defects include:

  • Faulty brakes
  • Defects with the gas and accelerator mechanisms
  • Improper wheel alignment
  • Defects with hydraulic components
  • Suspension problems
  • Weak kickstands

What are Motorcycle Recalls?

If a motorcycle has been found to be defective in any way, the manufacturer of the bike may issue a recall.  This is the motorcycle is pulled from sales and cannot be distributed to the public anymore. 

Motorcycle recalls are generally processed through the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  If a manufacturer has been order by the NHTSA to conduct a recall, the manufacturer must issue a public report that describes:

  • The affected motorcycle
  • The type of safety defect involved
  • Descriptions of the remedy for the problem
  • Major events that prompted the recall (such as frequent traffic collisions, etc.)
  • Scheduling for the recall process

Recalls may also be required if the manufacturer failed to comply with federal motorcycle safety standards.  In such cases, a recall may be required even if no one from the public has been injured yet.

What are Some Remedies for Motorcycle Defects?

Under most NHTSA recalls, the manufacturer is required by law to provide a remedy for the consumer.  What usually happens is that the consumer can bring their motorcycle to the nearest sales or repair office and have the vehicle repaired, free of charge.  If no repairs are available, they may be able to obtain a refund for their motorcycle. 

In some cases, motorcycle defects can cause serious injury.  If the defect has already caused injury to the owner, the owner may be able to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer under a products liability claim.  They would need to prove that their injuries and monetary losses were directly caused by the motorcycle defect, and that they didn’t contribute in any way to their own injury. 

Remedies in such lawsuits usually include a monetary damages award to cover costs like medical expenses, pain and suffering, etc.  Many motorcycle defect lawsuits are filed as class action lawsuits. 

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help With Motorcycle Defects Claims?

Motorcycle defects are very serious, because they can cause serious injuries if they aren’t addressed.  If you believe that your vehicle may be subject to a recall, or has a manufacturer defect, you may need to contact a products and services lawyer for advice.  Your lawyer can identify your rights as a consumer, and can also help you file a claim in court.