It has been widely reported that motorcycle use in the U.S. is on the rise. In the last decade, motorcycle ridership has increased more than 50 percent. As a result, the number a fatalities and serious injuries of motorcycle riders has increased steadily. More motorcyclists were killed last year than any year since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began collecting fatal crash data in 1975.
One of the most common motorcycle wrecks occurs when the driver of a vehicle turns in front of a cyclist. In such an emergency, the motorcycle rider needs a reliable braking system. Lawyers in our firm have handled several cases where a motorcyclist was severely injured or killed when the motorcycle’s brakes failed or tire maker had failed to utilize known safety design features.
We have learned of another safety issue involving a motorcycle’s brakes. Owners and riders of Honda’s GL-1800 need to be aware of Honda’s second recall concerning this motorcycle. The Detroit News recently announced that Honda Motor Co. has recalled 126,000 motorcycles for a second time because their brakes can malfunction. The recall covers Honda’s GL-1800 motorcycles for model years 2001-2010 and 2012. A problem with the secondary brake master cylinder can cause the rear brake to drag, potentially leading to a crash or fire.
Honda received 533 complaints through July 24 of this year, including reports of eight small fires. Thus far, there have been no reports of injuries or deaths as a result of the problem. Honda originally recalled the motorcycles in December 2011 but continued to receive complaints. The company says in documents filed with the NHTSA that the “root cause has not been determined” and that it is continuing to investigate.
Honda is sending a letter to each motorcycle owner explaining how to look for the problem. Motorcycles with the defect can be taken to a dealer for inspection. Owners will get a second letter when repairs and replacement parts are available. Needless to say, owners of this motorcycle need to be aware of and protect themselves from this potentially dangerous safety issue. If you would like more information on this subject, contact Rick Morrison, a lawyer on our firm’s Personal Injury/Product Liability Section, at 800-898-2034 or by email at Rick.Morrison@beasleyallen.com.
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