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Manufacturer recalls and motorcycle accidents

People across Nebraska enjoying riding motorcycles, but this pastime is not without its downsides. In addition to the risks associated with riding on these machines, there may also be safety recalls related to specific bikes. If a safety-related defect is not corrected, it can lead to a serious accident.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration outlines manufacturers' duties in the matter of safety-related recalls. According to this government agency, manufacturers must file a report that explains what the recall is, which motorcycles are potentially impacted and what major events led to the recall decision. The manufacturer must also issue a description of the desired remedy and a schedule for completing the recall. They are required by federal law to complete the necessary repairs at no cost to the consumer.

Additionally, manufacturers are expected to be proactive in notifying motorcycle owners in order to minimize the risk of associated motorcycle crashes. They are expected to merge their own records with vehicle registration information to compile a list of current owners who must be notified. If state registration records are not available, then the manufacturers are expected to work with their distribution chain to locate known purchasers and contact them. Recalls are also tracked by the NHTSA, and consumers are able to call a hotline with this agency to see if there are any recalls on certain vehicles.

Failure to address a safety-related recall can lead to accidents, but consumers do have some legal protections. If a company tries to hide the defect, then they can be held liable for the related injuries or losses. A company that fails to notify owners, attempts to charge for the repairs or takes any other steps to avoid addressing the problem may also be found negligent and held responsible for the consumers' losses. If someone is injured due to a defective motorcycle, they can turn to an attorney for assistance in investigating the matter, determining if a company was negligent and weighing their different legal options.

Source: FindLaw, "Motorcycle Defects and Recalls," accessed on March 4, 2015

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