Brake Defects Spur Recall of 122,000 BMW Motorcycles

German auto and motorcycle manufacturer BMW recently launched a global recall for BMW K 1200 GT other models built with the same base. Persistent brake problems prompted the recall when repairs done in 2008 and 2009 did not entirely fix the problem.

The recall affects BMW motorcycles manufactured between August 2006 and May 2009 bearing the following model numbers:

  • R 1200 GS Adventure
  • R 1200 GS
  • R 1200 R
  • R 1200 RT
  • R 1200 ST
  • K 1200 GT

The bikes are afflicted with a defective front brake line that has a tendency to form leaks from vibrations inherent in operating the motorcycle. Repairs ordered in 2008 and 2009 led to the replacement of the front brake line, using a new, more robust part. Despite these repairs, some motorcycles are still leaking brake fluid from the front brakes. BMW says the leaks are small and do not pose a danger, as long as owners monitor their brake fluid levels. To date, there are no reported accidents because of the problem brake lines.

Product Recalls Commonplace in 2010

BMW is among many auto companies to recall products this year. Toyota has been repeatedly plagued by its now infamous brake problems, forcing the recall of approximately 10 million cars, primarily in the US.  Volkswagen had to recall almost 200,000 vehicles in Brazil this February, and Porsche called for seatbelt inspections for owners of the new Panamera. US automaker General Motors had hood latch problems in over 160,000 all-terrain Hummers, and Nissan recalled over 134,000 Lexus Infinities because of airbag problems.  Even Honda had problems with its Acura, when the power steering hoses on 167,000 TSX models required replacement for fire hazard.

While these reports may seem alarming, recalls are actually quite common. According to a May 21, 2010 Consumer Reports article, an average of 175 autos are recalled annually. The reports to date represent only a fraction of all the recalls that will occur this year.

Heightened Concerns for Motorcycles

Obviously, any vehicle needs properly functioning brakes, but the problem is made even more dangerous in motorcycles. With no doors, roofs or seatbelts to protect riders, there is a heightened risk of serious injury.

Product Liability and Recalls

In product liability cases, the law protects the consumer. All products for sale are assumed to be in safe operating condition. There is no need to show negligence on the part of the manufacturer, only that a defect resulted in injury.

In cases involving motorcycles, manufacturers will often attempt to blame the rider for resulting injuries, citing the inherently dangerous nature of operating such a vehicle. However, as long as a motorcycle is being used in line with its intended purpose, this defense is weak.

If you or someone you love has been injured because of a defective product or motorcycle defect, please contact us right away. Our team will perform a comprehensive analysis of your case and educate you about your rights and options.

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