Motorcycle Recalls and Defects

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Written By PeterLogan

Founded by a collective of barristers, solicitors, and academic legal experts, PreferLaw began as a conversation over how to bridge the gap between legal professionals and the lay public.





Safety recalls of motorbikes and other motor vehicles are one of the most frequent consumer product defect issues. Safety recalls are typically initiated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the manufacturer of the vehicle in response to a defect found in the vehicle or in a component of the vehicle. It is important to fully understand the process involved in recalling vehicles and the responsibilities of each party.

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Manufacturers’ Duties and NHTSA

The manufacturer must file a report detailing:

  • Safety-related defect; or non-compliance with federal motor vehicle safety standards.
  • The number of vehicles/equipment that were involved;
  • These were the major events that led to recall determination
  • Description of the remedy
  • The recall schedule.

Manufacturers of motorcycles have a duty not to fail to notify the owners of any recalled equipment or vehicles. This means that manufacturers must merge the records of vehicle purchasers and current vehicle registration information with each state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. In the event that state registration records are not available, manufacturers must notify their distributors and any known purchasers about equipment recalls.

Importantly, even if you do not receive notification of a recall on your motorcycle or any other equipment, the manufacturer must fix the problem at no cost to the customer.

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Federal law requires that manufacturers correct any safety issues that could cause a recall. Each safety recall is monitored by the NHTSA to ensure that manufacturers offer owners free, effective, and safe remedies, in compliance with the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1996 and other federal regulations. Monthly lists of motor vehicle safety recalls are also published by the NHTSA. These lists include the make and model of any vehicle or equipment that is involved as well as a description of the safety issue.

NHTSA makes recalls public to inform consumers about safety issues and encourages them take action. The agency advises owners to wait for notification from the manufacturer to contact their dealers to schedule any repairs. It could be that not all vehicles from a specific make or model are affected by the recall, or because the manufacturer is not yet able to obtain all necessary parts to fix a safety problem.

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Recall Information

Consumers can get up-to-the-minute information on safety recall campaigns, or information on the recall history of a particular make and model of car, truck, motorcycle, or child safety seat, by calling the NHTSA’s toll-free Auto Safety Hotline, 1-888-327-4236, or by accessing NHTSA on the Internet at You can also use the Hotline to report any safety concerns or problems you may have regarding the safety of a motor car or the equipment that is used in its operation.

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Get legal help today for your motorcycle recall or defect claim

You have legal rights if your motorcycle is subject to a safety recall but the manufacturer is not complying with the law. If your motorcycle is not yet recalled but has a defect there might be legal remedies. Talk to a local attorney if you have any questions about recalls or motorcyle defects.