Three-wheeled Harley Davidson bikes known as “trikes” are the subject of lawsuits from riders who say the vehicle’s complex braking system has caused unexpected swerves off highways, sometimes leading to fatalities.
According to an NBC News report, one plaintiff named Harold Morris told reporters he was thrown off his Harley trike twice, once in February 2019 while driving on a Florida highway and a second time in June 2020 while cruising in Western Pennsylvania.
Multiple lawsuits have now been filed to hold the manufacturer accountable.
Serious Injuries Reported
In the second accident, plaintiff Harold Morris said he suffered multiple broken bones and internal injuries. His longtime girlfriend, Pamela SinClair, was killed in the crash. Another plaintiff, Laura Share, had a similar accident. Share said she was preparing to exit a highway near Rochester, New York when the trike veered off the road. She suffered several injuries including a broken pelvis, as well as a fractured clavicle, ribs, and sternum. Harley Davidson did not respond to questions from NBC’s I-Team and has denied any wrongdoing in court filings.
However, the company has voluntarily recalled more than 12,000 trikes from 2019 and 2020, citing a problem with the way the brakes can engage the rear wheels. According to a notice filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), some of these recalled motorcycles were equipped with software that could potentially “respond incorrectly to a faulty rear wheel and speed signal by activating one of the rear brakes.”
Both Share and Morris said they had their trikes serviced by the dealer after getting the recall notice, but that the recall repair did not prevent either of their accidents. Robert Bosch LLC, the company that manufactured the components for the trikes’ braking system, declined to comment on the issue.
NBC’s investigation also showed that other motorcyclists also had similar accidents in Florida, North Carolina, West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Oregon.
Product Liability Issues
It is disturbing to learn that thousands of trikes may have this “complex” braking system or poor design that is causing riders and passengers to veer off the roadway. These accidents can result in riders suffering serious and sometimes fatal injuries.
As auto defect attorneys, our hope is that Harley Davidson launches an investigation into these complaints and issues a recall. It’s the right thing to do. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of these vehicles or other auto defects, please contact an experienced auto defect lawyer to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.