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Harley Davidson Recalls 46,000 Bikes Following Crashes Related to Defective Clutch Master Cylinder

January 15, 2016

Motorcyclists face a substantially higher risk of being involved in a collision that causes permanent debilitating injuries or fatalities than drivers of other vehicles. The reasons for the increased risk of a crash include the difficulty other drivers have seeing motorcycles, the presence of motorcycles where drivers do not expect a vehicle, and the general lack of diligence shown by passenger vehicle drivers. The lack of stability of a motorcycle also plays a significant factor in the increased crash risk. The increased severity of injury is the result of a complete lack of safety equipment. While most motorcycle collisions are caused by a driver or rider's human error, a recent massive recall of Harley Davidson motorcycles attests to the risk of a product defect causing motorcycle accidents.

The recently announced recall of Harley Davidson motorcycles includes over 46,000 bikes in the United States, according to an Associated Press (AP) report. The mechanical defect forcing the recall can cause affected bikes to remain in gear because the clutch fails to fully disengage. The recall includes certain bike models of the following types: Police Electra Glide, Road King, Ultra Limited, Electra Glide, Street Glide, and Road Glide from model years 2014 and 2015.

The manufacturer disclosed, in documents reviewed by the AP, that bubbles in the gasoline can cause the master cylinder that controls the clutch to malfunction, causing the clutch to fail to completely disengage. The problem is especially likely to occur if the bike has been parked for an extended period of time. Bikes affected by the problem could cause motorcyclists to lose control of the motorcycle when it is started while already in gear. Approximately 27 crashes have been attributed to the defect as of April 26, 2015, according to the AP report.

A motorcycle that is defective or is equipped with defective parts should serve as the basis for imposing liability on the manufacturer when the defect plays a substantial factor in causing a motorcycle accident. Product defect lawsuits involving motorcycle crashes, for example, have frequently focused on "wobble" in the steering column at freeway speeds.

The typical motorcycle product liability claim involves a dangerous design or faulty manufacturing process. A defective design pertains to bikes that are manufactured according to specifications, but those plans lead to an unsafe vehicle. All of the bikes manufactured from the specific design are unreasonably dangerous. By contrast, manufacturing defects involve problems in the production or assembly process that make particular bikes unsafe because they do not comply with manufacturer specifications.

Put Montlick & Associates Over 39 Years of Legal Experience to Work For Your Claim

While only minor injuries have been reported to date (thankfully), this type of defect could result in serious injuries. If you are injured in a crash involving a defective motorcycle or component, call Montlick and Associates to learn about your rights and to discuss your potential legal remedies. Montlick and Associates can advise you of your rights and options in pursuing the financial recovery that compensates for the harm that you suffered. Montlick and Associates has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast for over thirty years.

No matter where you are located, our attorneys are just a phone call away and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Personal Injury

Please Note:
All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.