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Motorcycle crash risk increased by manufacturers' underreporting

Did you know that your motorcycle manufacturer is required to submit documentation to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration? All too many motorcycle accidents are caused by manufacturers who fail to honor safety requirements promulgated by the federal government. Recently, motorcycle companies such as Triumph have been hit with stiff fines for failing to report safety recalls and other important notices to NHTSA in a timely manner.

Every motorcyclist deserves to know whether his or her motorcycle could malfunction and cause catastrophic injuries. When manufacturers fail to disclose this information, the companies put individuals at serious risk. Consider the recent violation by Triumph Motorcycles, in which the company was investigated for failing to submit quarterly safety reports. Lives could have been saved if the company had issued information about its 1,300-unit recall using an early warning system instead of waiting to disclose the problem. That recall related to a dangerous steering system problem that could cause riders to lose control of their motorcycles and crash.

The truth is that not every motorcycle collision is caused by a negligent driver; in some cases, the negligence lies with the vehicle manufacturer. A responsible motorcyclist can still suffer serious wounds such as broken bones and brain injury because of a botched recall. Manufacturers have a responsibility to their customers to provide safe, functional vehicles. When those companies do not release recall information on time, they jeopardize service shops, motorcycle owners and drivers of other vehicles on Connecticut roads.

Now, Triumph is taking steps to comply with NHTSA requirements by hiring a compliance officer and directing more resources toward submitting information on time. All of those efforts can seem like too little, too late for family members and motorcycle accident victims. Companies have a duty to maintain effective notification processes for recalls -- and government agencies and civil courts must hold those firms accountable for their negligence if they fail to comply.

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "NHTSA Fines Triumph Motorcycles $2.9 Million for Failing to Submit Early Warning Reports and Other Required Documents," accessed Sep. 08, 2015

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