Many people enjoy spending time outdoors in the spring and summer months bicycling. Recently, the bicycle company Trek recalled certain models of their bicycles due to a malfunction of a quick release lever on the front wheel hub, causing the wheel to separate from the bicycle. The malfunction could cause the rider to lose control of the bicycle resulting in serious injuries. Nearly one million bicycles in the US and Canada were affected by the recall. Three bicycle owners were seriously injured due to the malfunction, causing one to become a quadriplegic; another to suffer severe facial injuries; and the third, a fractured wrist. Trek is one of the nation’s largest bicycle sellers. The bicycles, manufactured in China and Taiwan, sold for between $450 and $1650 between 2000 and 2015.
The company has urged that consumers cease using the bicycles and has provided Trek retailers with new quick releases that they will install on the recalled bicycles for no cost. The company is also providing a $20 gift certificate for use of Botranger items.
While it is very important to practice safety precautions when bicycling, a rider cannot protect themselves against a defective product that they do not know about. In the case of the Trek bicycles, the lever could open if an object hit it or if the skewer was not tightened enough. A rider would not be able to protect themselves from such discrete design defects. As in the unfortunate cases resulting from the quick release issue on Trek bicycles, bike accidents can be very serious, or even deadly. It is estimated that 700 cyclists die per year due to accidents. Another 67,000 more visit emergency rooms as a result of a bicycle related accident.
If you have been involved in an accident due to a design defect of a product you purchased, contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can advise you of your rights and legal remedies. Contact the Law Office of Georgaklis & Mallas PLLC at (718) 238-2400 or (212) 779-2400.