The Bicycle Accident Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer take note of the recall of nearly a million bicycles manufactured by Trek. This recall involves models of Trek bicycles equipped with front disc brakes that were produced from 2000 to 2015. According to the recall summary, released by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) last week, “An open quick release lever on the bicycle’s front wheel hub can come into contact with the front disc brake assembly, causing the front wheel to come to a sudden stop or separate from the bicycle, posing a risk of injury to the rider.” The manufacturer reports three incidents associated with the product defect, each of which resulted in injury, including one victim becoming paralyzed, another that sustained a broken wrist, and a third that resulted in facial injuries.
With so much attention on motor vehicle related safety recalls, it can be easy to overlook recalls associated with other commonly used consumer products, such as bicycles. As the City makes strides in becoming more bike friendly, ridership continues to increase in and around the Chicago area. Last year, we discussed the importance of checking for bicycle component safety recalls, and again remind bicyclists, including bike owners, as well as the parents of children that have bicycles, of the need to take protective and cautionary measures by regularly checking for safety recalls.
What makes this recall perhaps more noteworthy, is Trek’s long-standing reputation for producing high-end bicycles known for their safety benefits. Often time, consumers mistakenly believe that the purchase of a more expensive bicycle that is of higher quality and has better construction, means that the product will be free of defects—but this is not necessarily true. Indeed the quality and expense of a bike are important considerations, as pointed out by Consumer Report’s ‘Bike Buying Guide.’ However, at the same time, consumers must also keep in mind that even the most reputable companies can and do make mistakes. This applies to all consumer purchases, whether a bicycle, automobile, or other device or product.
If you believe you have a model affected by the recall, you should stop using the bicycle immediately and contact an authorized dealer, or call the manufacturer directly at 1-800-373-4594. As an incentive for owners that participate in the recall, Trek is offering a $20 merchandise coupon in addition to repairing the defect free of charge. While we support the manufacturer’s efforts in offering incentives that may bolster awareness of this important safety recall, as injury attorneys, we can’t help but wonder if Trek’s primary motivation resides in decreasing potential liability, as opposed to genuine concern over public safety.
We also have concerns as to how or why this safety issue, which affects models as much as fifteen years old, was not discovered earlier. The delayed discovery (or report) of this issue seems no less excusable than recent revelations in the auto industry involving decade+ long failures to report known safety issues. With this recall having been announced just last week, we expect that more incidents will be reported in the coming weeks and months, the result of which may lead to a number of lawsuits against Trek.
If you sustained injury, or a loved one was killed due to a bicycling accident that was caused by the negligence of another, knowing your legal rights and options is the first step to obtaining financial recovery. Contact the Chicago attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C., at 773-516-4100, or by sending us a message online, to schedule your no-cost no-obligation case evaluation.