The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently announced that it would be investigating Harley-Davidson motorcycles based on complaints that some of the motorcycles suffer from brake failure. An article by Reuters reports that the investigation involves 430,000 motorcycles, all manufactured by Harley-Davidson from 2008 to 2011.
According to reports, there were more than 40 complaints filed about the motorcycles’ brakes, as well as two injury reports and three crash reports. An article in the Seattle Times expands on the issue, explaining that the complaints allege that the hand lever and foot pedal brakes on the bikes simply stopped working without warning. Luckily, no deaths have been reported.
The investigation opened by the NHTSA will seek to determine whether there is a defect in the motorcycles’ braking systems.
Both of the articles cited above note that some of the riders who experienced brake failure did not change the brake fluid in their motorcycles every two years, as recommended by Harley-Davidson. The recommendation stems from the fact that old brake fluid may lead to corrosion of the anti-lock braking system (ABS), causing it to fail.
That being said, the NHTSA told reporters that even if riders did not change brake fluid, sudden brake failure is still a serious concern.
Who Is Liable for Riders’ Injuries?
As noted, at least two people have been injured due to the brake failure of Harley-Davidson motorcycles. These two people may be able hold the motorcycle manufacturing company liable for damages if they can prove that their injuries would not have occurred but for the negligent design or manufacture of the bikes.
However, if it can be proven that the riders contributed to their injuries – for example, by not changing the brake fluid as required – then the laws in their state may affect their ability to collect compensation. For example, Virginia’s contributory negligence laws may bar riders who contributed to the accident from collecting damages.
How an Experienced Northern Virginia Motorcycle Accident Attorney Can Help
If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident due to a defective part, you need an experienced attorney who can conduct a thorough investigation to determine whether a manufacturing problem may have led to a faulty part, in turn causing your crash and your injuries. At the Parrish Law Firm, our dedicated motorcycle attorneys can also help you prove that your injuries would have occurred regardless of your actions, thus protecting your right to full and fair compensation.
Harley-Davidson and other motorcycle manufacturers are big companies. When these companies manufacture defective motorcycle parts, they should be held liable. However, filing a claim is not always easy. Let our experienced Manassas motorcycle injury attorneys help you pursue your defective motorcycle brakes lawsuit and advocate for you every step of the way.
If you have questions about what to do after a motorcycle accident, do not hesitate to contact us. Your initial case consultation with us is always free.