Motorcycle Defects and Recalls


In part because of their lack of protective enclosures and the high speeds at which they can travel, motorcycles are arguably inherently dangerous. But a defective motorcycle can greatly magnify the safety risks to its riders. Such risks can result in serious injuries or death.

Motorcycle manufacturers are responsible for ensuring a certain level of safety in the vehicles they sell to the public. There are several governmental agencies that issue and enforce motor vehicle safety standards.

If a manufacturer suspects a vehicle defect, or a defect in one of the vehicle's components, it can voluntarily conduct a product safety recall. But one governmental agency, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), can also order a recall if it discovers a defective motorcycle or motorcycle component it deems to be hazardous to its riders or to the public.

When a recall is initiated, the manufacturer is required to file a public report that describes the defect or safety standard noncompliance, the vehicles or equipment involved, the key events that led to the recall determination, the remedy being offered, and the recall schedule. The manufacturer should also attempt to notify the owners of the vehicles being recalled and, under Federal law, the remedy offered them must be free of cost. To report a motorcycle safety defect or to obtain up-to-the-minute safety recall information, visit

But regardless of whether a motorcycle has or has not been recalled, properly maintained, or safely ridden, a defect in its design or manufacture can still cause it to crash. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, to succeed in a claim against the manufacturer, you will need to prove that:

  • The motorcycle was defective
  • The defect existed prior to its purchase
  • Your damages and/or injuries are a direct result of the defect

It may not be readily apparent that a motorcycle accident was caused by a defect, or that a defect in the motorcycle or of one of its parts contributed to the accident. A manufacturer's legal team may also attempt show that a motorcycle part was improperly used or that you should otherwise be held responsible for the accident.

Motorcycle accident cases can be quite complex. But when caused by a motorcycle defect, the complexity becomes considerably magnified. The scope of the investigation tends to expand beyond the accident itself to the motorcycle's design and manufacturing processes. Resources are needed to preserve and study the evidence, secure documents from the manufacturer, and to litigate effectively in the face of a team of skilled lawyers working for the manufacturer and against your interests.

To protect your rights and receive the full compensation you may be entitled to, you should contact a skilled and experienced defective motorcycle injury attorney.

Contact today to find an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer near you.