Florida is the leading state for bicycle injuries and fatalities. Most of those incidents can be attributed to collisions with motor vehicles. But in some cases, injured cyclists should not overlook the possibility that defective design or manufacturing of the bicycle itself may be partially or solely to blame.
Recently, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recall notice of hundreds of bicycles manufactured early this year by GT. The down hill mountain bicycle is a risk to riders because the front wheel hub has the potential to break and cause the disc brake system to fail. In turn, this poses a major crash and injury risk to riders. The recall involves all 2015 model year GT Fury Elite and GT Fury Expert downhill mountain bikes.
No injuries have thus far been reported in relation to the defect, but the Connecticut-based importer has received reports of two broken hubs. These bicycles, which were made in Taiwan, retail for between $3,200 and $4,400.
And just a few months ago, in a separate recall, more than one million bicycles were recalled after a purported defect resulted in multiple crashes and injuries, including one rider who became a permanent quadriplegic as a result of the accident.
As our product liability attorneys understand it, there were 900,000 of these Trek bicycles sold in the U.S. and an additional 100,000 in Canada. The problem was that a quick-release lever on the front wheel hub of the bicycle can possibly come in contact with the front disc brake assembly. This in turn can result in either the wheel coming to a complete stop or complete wheel separation.
Of the accidents reported to the manufacturer, all included injuries, mostly to the face. There was also a fractured wrist and, of course, the cyclist who is now permanently paralyzed.
The Trek recall includes all models built within a 15-year window, starting in 2000, that are equipped with front disc brakes and a silver or black quick-release lever on the front. There were many more of those units sold than the GT because the cost was significantly lower, between $500 and $1,700.
The remedy for the defect is for consumers to stop using them immediately and contact an authorized retailer to receive a free installation of a new quick-release lever.
Another recall includes about 200 bicycles made by a company in California called Felt Bicycles, following a discovery that the coaster brakes on the cruiser bikes have the potential to fail. This was the same company that last year recalled 150 cyclocross bicycles because the frames had the potential to break.
In Maine, manufacturer Marin Mountain Bikes recalled about 450 children’s bicycles earlier this year after a discovery that the handlebars could loosen or separate. The recall involves Marin 2014 MBX 50 and Tiny Trail.
Also late last year, a company based in Germany recalled some 47,000 helmets sold in the U.S. between 2009 and 2014 because it was determined the chinstraps could fail, causing the helmet not to provide the adequate protection from head injury.
The Ferraro Law Firm handles claims resulting from defective medical products or dangerous pharmaceuticals. Call 1-800-275-3332 for a free and confidential consultation. Offices in Miami and Washington, D.C.
Cycling Sports Group Recalls GT Fury Mountain Bicycles Due to Crash, Injury Hazards, May 28, 2015, Consumer Product Safety Commission Recall Notice
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CPSC: New Federal Standard for Child Carrier Safety, April 10, 2015, Florida Product Liability Attorney Blog