Can a motorcycle manufacturer hold liability for a defective motorcycle?

Categorized: Motorcycle Accidents

Can a motorcycle manufacturer hold liability for a defective motorcycle?

Manufacturer liability is certainly a possibility if a motorcycle accident results from a defect in the bike’s design or manufacturing process. Evidence must be used to establish that a manufacturer defect exists and was to blame for the accident that caused serious injury or death.

Overview of Manufacturer Liability Claims

There are generally two types of claims that can be filed. One stems from a design defect. It could be that the bike or part was manufactured correctly but it was designed in a way that presents a danger of accidents and injuries.

Another is when the design of the product was fine but something goes wrong in the manufacturing process, creating a dangerous product that can cause an accident and injuries. Of course, it is also possible that it could be a defect in both the design and manufacturing process.

It’s also important to consider that some defects in a motorcycle are not safety-related. That is, something may not be working properly but it doesn’t pose a risk to the rider or others. An example would be a panel that rusts prematurely.

Types of Motorcycle Defects That Could Cause Injuries

The following are some of the safety-related motorcycle defects that could result in injury:

  • brake failure;
  • faulty gas/accelerator mechanisms;
  • engines that overheat (sparking a fire);
  • wheels not properly aligned;
  • wheel rims that break;
  • fuel tanks that leak; and
  • cracks in handlebar clamps.


Some of these issues can increase the risk of a crash. It might be that a motorcyclist loses control of the bike or is unable to stop as a result of faulty accelerator mechanisms or brakes, for example.

It will be important to collect evidence in order to prove it was a defect that caused the accident and injuries. The bike itself is going to be the most important piece of evidence if manufacturer liability is suspected. An expert can examine its parts and determine if there was something that malfunctioned. A recall on the part or bike can also be useful as evidence of a manufacturer defect.

Parties Liable for Injuries Caused by a Defective Motorcycle

Manufacturers are generally the main parties found liable when defects cause injuries. But others can also be responsible:

  • suppliers;
  • wholesalers; and
  • distributors may cause damage to the bike or its parts.


Additionally, sometimes retailers know of a recall on a part or a motorcycle, yet sell it anyway. In some cases more than one of these parties could be named in a product liability claim. Look at all those involved in the chain of distribution when pursuing this type of case.

Talk to Cordisco & Saile LLC About Legal Representation

An attorney who handles defective product claims understands the complex issues that can arise not only when proving a defect caused the accident, but when establishing responsible parties as well.

It’s beneficial to seek legal counsel as soon as possible. At Cordisco & Saile LLC, we understand the impact that a motorcycle accident can have on the victim and his or her family. Contact us to discuss filing a manufacturer liability claim.

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