Motorbike manufacturer Suzuki has announced a safety recall of its GSX-R1000 sport bikes, Clutch and Chrome reported Feb. 3. The campaign affects 26,082 bikes with 2005 and 2006 model years, whose frames are susceptible to breaking or cracking in stressed areas, such as the wheel-fork assembly or behind the steering neck. Owners of the affected motorcycles can take their bikes in to a Suzuki dealership for inspection, where dealers will replace cracked frames and install reinforcements on uncracked frames for free. For more information, owners of the GSX-R1000 can view the federal notice or contact Suzuki in the United States at (714) 572-1490.
Officially, Suzuki’s action is a “safety improvement campaign” because it was not ordered under federal product safety laws, though it has all of the features of a recall. The manufacturer noticed the problem after reports began surfacing of GSX-R1000s suffering cracks and breakage during “extreme situations” — when the bike is being ridden fast and used to do stunts like jumps or wheelies, as well as in cases of motorcycle accidents. This behavior is very common with sport bikes like this model, which are at the center of a subculture of stunt racers, but Suzuki apparently did not design its motorcycle with the use in mind. As a result, hard riding has caused several frame breaks that killed or severely injured the riders.
As a motorcyclist myself and a Broward County motorcycle accident lawyer, I urge GSX-R1000 owners to get their motorcycles’ frames reinforced. Riding a motorcycle in Florida is already dangerous, statistically speaking; nobody needs to add a risk of serious accidents from a defect in the motorcycle. Even the best rider in the world can’t prevent an accident if the equipment itself is the problem. And while the use of the bikes as stunt bikes may not have been anticipated by Suzuki, you would have to be unfamiliar with the motorcycle industry to describe it as unforeseeable.
People who are seriously hurt by misusing a defective product in Florida can still hold manufacturers responsible for those defects, as long as the misuse was foreseeable. Florida law holds manufacturers of defective products strictly legally liable (legally responsible) for injuries they cause, regardless of whether the manufacturer intended to include the flaw. In this case, that means people who were severely injured or lost a loved one to a defective Suzuki motorcycle frame still have a case, even if the situation isn’t appropriate for a conventional South Florida motorcycle accident claim.
Cohn, Smith & Cohn has an active Miami motorcycle accident litigation practice serving riders throughout South Florida. We aggressively defend the rights of people who have been seriously hurt in a bike crash, even when the at-fault people and insurance companies use anti-motorcycle prejudice to avoid their own legal responsibilities. If you or someone you love is in this situation and you’d like to learn more, please contact our firm online or call us at our main Hollywood office at (954) 431-8100.