Cyclists may make the mistake of thinking that they are avoiding some of the risks that come with operating a traditional vehicle, but that may not be the case. Like cars and trucks, bicycles can also be subject to safety recalls due to defective parts that may cause injury or death.
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) research has a list of recalled parts on its website, cpsc.gov. Some of the recalled parts include bicycle chains that break and cause the rider to fall, seats that fall off, bicycle frames that break in half and failing breaks. With the average speed of a cyclist sometimes approaching 15 mph, it is easy to see how any number of these defects can become dangerous.
In 2012, Specialized Bicycle Components, a manufacturer of bicycle parts that sells to 18 different models, accidentally released a front fork that was prone to breaking. Over 12,000 bicycles were recalled, and there were four reports of riders suffering from facial fractures and head and shoulder injuries.
What Are the Guidelines for Bicycle Safety and Recalls?
Consumer Product Safety Commission guidelines must be met by bicycle manufacturers, much like how cars and other vehicles must meet National Highway Traffic Safety Administration product safety guidelines. Some of the guidelines include rules that put safety expectations on the steering system, brakes, pedals, tires and wheel hubs.
Failure to meet the requirements will lead to a recall and fines, depending on the situation. Civil penalties and suits are also a risk that manufacturers and resellers might face if they have sold a bicycle that has been subject to a recall. In 2004, Dynacraft had to pay a $1.4 million fine for failing to report defects with its mountain bikes to the CPSC in a timely manner.
Since both a recall and fines are bad for business, manufacturers and resellers have an ethical and financial incentive to ensure they are selling safe products.
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Did You Know? Recessions and other difficult economic conditions can cause a boom in bicycle sales. Last year, in Europe, bicycle sales overtook car sales.
You can find more information about bicycle safety recalls by visiting the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website . Visit our product liability page for information about what to do if you were injured by defective equipment.