Although most of the products we buy are safe for their intended use, sometimes a defect or some other issue can cause accidents and serious injuries. When this happens, a recall is typically issued to inform and warn consumers and offer remedies. This is what bicycle manufacturer Trek had to do after three riders were seriously injured due to the quick release lever causing the front wheel to lock up and suddenly stop or even separate. One of those riders is now a quadriplegic due to the defect.
Nearly one million Trek bikes sold in the United States and Canada are affected by this recall, which involves bikes with disc brakes. The affected bikes were manufactured in China and Taiwan. They include model years 2000 – 2015 and feature a silver or black quick release lever. The lever should open to a full 180 degrees. If it doesn’t, and this lever is left open, it may come into contact with the front disc brake and cause the bike to stop suddenly. This can be extremely dangerous when the bike is in motion, especially at high speeds. A rider can be thrown off and seriously injured or even killed.
In May, components manufacturer Shimano acknowledged that it manufactured the Quick Release levers found on some of the bikes included in the recall. There are two types of levers used: aluminum and steel. While the aluminum ones do not open more than 180 degrees from the closed position, the steel ones can. Shimano claims that when these levers are tightened according to the owner’s manual, then they pose no risk of injury. The company has never received reports of the levers coming into contact with the rotors during the 15 years it has sold the levers. The company therefore maintains that the levers are safe for use by consumers and is not issuing a recall at this time. Shimano is, however, complying with the bicycle industry’s updated standards for quick release levers.
Consumers should stop riding affected bikes and contact their local Trek dealer. Dealers can be found online by going to Trek.com. Click on “Retailers” and then enter your ZIP code. The dealer will provide consumers with a new quick release lever, free of charge. In addition, Trek is offering consumers who participate in the recall a $20 coupon toward Bontrager merchandise. Thomson Bike Products, which sells components for bicycles, is honoring this coupon. The coupon can be used online toward a new handlebar, stem or seat post. In order for the coupon to be valid, customers must return a used product that they wish to replace. The coupon is good until December 31, 2015.
Thomson is focused on safety, which is the company has decided to join forces with Trek and offer their support during the recall. The company also wants to make it easier for those affected by the recall to obtain the new parts they need to ride safely. When customers turn in their old components, they are sent to an aluminum recycling facility.
The recall has no end date, which means that consumers can take their bikes in for a replacement lever at any time. However, to ensure safety, the bike should not be ridden until the fix is made. It’s always best not to delay in this type of situation.
This type of product liability is a serious issue. Although the majority of consumers have not been injured, the injuries can be catastrophic. For example, one victim is now paralyzed due to the defective part. When consumers are injured by products, they can file a lawsuit for their injuries. Victims can be compensated for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. If you or a loved one were injured by a defective cycling product, contact us for a free consultation.