Our Chicago personal injury lawyers read with concern the latest product recall involving Harley-Davidson motorcycles. According to recent reports by MSNBC and The Associated Press, Harley-Davidson is recalling about 308,000 motorcycles due to an equipment malfunction that has been show to cause failure of the brake lights, and potentially even the rear brakes as well.
Harley-Davidson is an American motorcycle manufacturer specializing in heavyweight motorcycles designed for use on the highway. According to the latest recall, in certain Harley-Davidson products, brake light switches can be exposed to too much heat from the exhaust system, which in turn causes the brake lights to fail and, in some cases, causes fluid leaks and the loss of rear brakes.
Products Liability law is the area of law in which manufacturers and distributors of products who disseminate those goods to the public, may be held liable for any injuries caused by defective merchandise. Product liability claims generally fall into three categories: manufacturing defects, design defects, or a failure on the part of the company to warn consumers of the potential danger associated with the product.
Manufacturing defects are problems that arise during the production of a product, and usually present in the form of faulty or improperly working items. Design defects are ones that cause injury when a product’s design is inherently dangerous, no matter how well the product is made – such is the case in the situation with the Harley-Davidson bikes, where the exhaust was placed in such an area as to cause damage to other parts of the motorcycle. Finally, Failure-to-Warn flaws occur when manufacturers distribute a product that is potentially dangerous, but fails to warn purchasers of the possible harm; in cases such as those, if the manufacturer knew about the potential for injury and didn’t warn customers, the company can be held liable for any injuries the consumer incurs.
In this situation, the faulty exhaust system may be found on Touring, CVO Touring and Trike vehicles from the 2009 through Harley-Davidson’s 2012 model years. As per MSNBC‘s report, Harley-Davidson says it will notify owners of the recalled motorcycles of the retraction of those bikes from the market, and dealers will install a rear brake light switch kit free of charge. Although Harley-Davidson says it’s aware of only one crash from the problem, the recall was instituted to ensure that no more consumers are harmed as a result of the faulty motorcycles.
Our Illinois personal injury attorneys understand the intricacies of Illinois product liability cases, and have successfully handled a number of these cases. In fact, our attorneys won a $3 million settlement against a car manufacturer that improperly designed the fuel delivery system of a vehicle, resulting in a fuel-fed fire after a head-on collision that killed the occupants of the vehicle.
If you or a loved one have suffered as a result of a defective product, contact an attorney immediately to understand your rights under the law. Special laws are in place to protect consumers and make sure that restitution in paid for their injuries.