Questions about Suzuki motorcycles have been common since the early 2010s when a brake recall led many to doubt these motorcycles’ safety. Although Suzuki is one of the most well-known names in motorcycles, a massive recall was issued for brakes on GSX-R600 and GSX-R750 model motorcycles from 2004 to 2013 and GSX-R1000 model bikes from 2005 to 2013.
While most of these motorcycles have been taken off the market or repaired by now in 2020, many people still wonder if Suzuki motorcycles are safe.
Suzuki Motorcycle Defect Cases
Different common motorcycle injuries can come from motorcycle accidents caused by many different issues. Motorcycle accident lawyers fight to help victims sue the driver who hit them in many cases, especially in some of the most dangerous cities for motorcycles. However, motorcycle defects can also be one of the many most common causes of motorcycle crashes.
If the motorcycle manufacturer, such as Suzuki, put a bike on the market that had defective or dangerous parts, the victim might be able to sue and seek compensation.
A recent appeals case was decided in October 2020, dealing with a motorcycle crash from all the way back in 2012. In that case, the victim, Bradley Stubblefield, claimed that his crash occurred because his Suzuki motorcycle’s brake failed, causing him to get caught in the gravel on the side of a highway on-ramp and eventually drive off the road into a ravine.
His motorcycle, a GSX-R1000, was one of the recall models, but the court found that his specific bike did not have the design defect. That meant that evidence of other defective bikes in the same line was irrelevant to whether his bike was defective.
Ultimately, the plaintiff lost his case against Suzuki. The court held that the brake failure was not caused by any corrosion or design defects that Suzuki should be responsible for. This goes to show that, at least in the eyes of the law, just because a motorcycle brand’s other bikes might have had defects, that does not automatically mean that newer models or different bikes from the same manufacturer are also unsafe.
Proving Motorcycle Defect Claims in Court
In other cases where the crash is proven to be caused by defective motorcycle parts, the plaintiff should be able to hold the manufacturer responsible, seeking damages for any motorcycle injuries caused in the crash. To prove one of these cases, you generally need to point to one of two types of defects: design defects or manufacturing defects.
A design defect is one where the manufacturer accidentally designs a flaw into the product that causes it to be weak or dangerous. In Bradley Stubblefield’s case, it appears his lawyers claimed that the Suzuki motorcycle had a design defect in the brake that allowed it to become corroded over time.
If an auto part or motorcycle manufacturer does design parts that are not equipped to hold up to environmental stress and normal use, this could be a design defect that justifies a lawsuit.
These kinds of defects often lead to widespread news stories about accidents and recall in motor vehicles because design defects usually affect multiple units across the whole product line.
Manufacturing defects occur when the manufacturer deviates from the proper design. This can mean accidentally leaving out a piece, substituting in cheaper or more dangerous materials, or making mistakes in the assembly process. If any of these defects lead to malfunctions or part failures, the issue might only occur in that specific product or in other products manufactured around the same time. There is no guarantee that a manufacturing defect in one motorcycle will also exist in another similar motorcycle, especially if they came from different factories or they were made at different times.
Evidence from Other Similar Incidents
In many cases, like Bradley Stubblefield’s, the court will not look at other similar incidents to determine whether there is an issue in this case. If you can produce evidence of a design defect that includes your model of motorcycle or the line of products you were using, then that information will be relevant only if your product actually had the defect. In cases like this one, the court refused to look at other instances of accidents and brake failure because the plaintiff could not link the bike in question to a broader design defect. However, the court also found no evidence of corrosion to point to a manufacturing defect on that bike, either.
Suing Suzuki for Defective and Dangerous Motorcycles
Suppose you were injured in an accident on a Suzuki motorcycle that was caused not by another driver’s negligence but by your motorcycle’s mechanical failure. In that case, you should speak with a motorcycle injury lawyer. Many people anecdotally report problems with their bikes, but it is not always clear that these issues are linked to any one brand or any widespread defects.
However, a specific problem with the manufacturing defects in your motorcycle can lead to lawsuits as well, even if it was a fluke.
A motorcycle accident lawyer in your state can help you understand whether your accident was caused by a defect and how you can proceed with your case. It is important to pursue compensation for these kinds of accidents, especially if you have expensive medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages that you need to be paid.