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Eric T. Chaffin
Eric T. Chaffin
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Did Trek Fail to Warn Bicycle Riders Of Dangerous Quick Release Levers?


According to an April 21, 2015 announcement by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), consumers should stop using certain Trek bicycles immediately and contact an authorized retailer for important recall repairs.

Three Trek bicycle owners were seriously injured because of a design defect that causes the front wheel to lock up and stop suddenly. Because of these injuries and a potential for more, Trek is recalling nearly one million bicycles for repairs.

Trek Recalls Nearly One Million Bikes

The recall affects about 900,000 bikes in the U.S. and 98,000 in Canada. The problem involves a quick release lever that is installed on the front wheel hub. This lever, which can open greater than 180 degrees, can become caught in the disk brake if left in the open position, causing the bike to stop suddenly.

A quick release lever allows a rider to easily remove the wheel from the bicycle frame, and then replace it again just as easily. These levers are installed on a number of bikes—not just Trek brand bikes.

According to Trek’s Safety Recall Notice, the lever remains safe if adjusted properly, but if improperly adjusted or left open (rather than closing it to secure the wheel) on a bike with a disc brake, the lever can become caught in the brake assembly. This can then cause the wheel to separate from the bike, or to come to a sudden stop. The result could be loss of control of the bike, the ejection of the rider, and serious injuries to the rider.

Trek Says Lever is Not Defective

According to the recall notice from CPSC, Trek implemented the recall after becoming aware of three incidents in which the levers caused serious accidents. One rider ended up a quadriplegic, another suffered facial injuries, and the third was diagnosed with a fractured wrist.

Trek has not admitted to a manufacturing defect. According to them, the problem isn’t with the lever itself, but the improper use or adjustment of it. (Riders who have been injured are likely to disagree.) They have also stated that the levers (or “skewers”) are not made by them, but come from a third-party vendor, and thus bikes made by other manufacturers may also carry them.

Riders Who Were Injured May be Eligible to File a Trek Bicycle Lawsuit

The recall affects all models of Trek bicycles from model years 2000 through 2015 that have front disc brakes and quick release levers on the front wheel that open far enough to potentially become caught in the disc brake. Customers who own bikes like these can expect to get a recall notice from the company. Trek will replace the skewers for free and will also give customers a $20 coupon they can use at any Trek dealer.

Riders who were injured while riding a Trek bicycle because of this issue may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit. Though Trek maintains that their products are safe when properly used, the company had a responsibility to make sure consumers were aware of the risks, and to make it very clear how the skewer needed to be positioned to avoid the danger of accident and injury.

The incidents that resulted in severe injuries suggest that the company didn’t do enough to ensure that consumers knew how to use the lever safely. It also suggests that the lever could have been designed to avoid the risk of becoming caught in the disc brake in the first place.


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  1. Bert Pace says:
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    Much ado about nothing. My Trek 8.6DS was part of the recall. When I was shown what the problem was I almost laughed! Anyone smart enough to take the front tire off would be smart enough not to screw it up when putting it back on.

  2. J toro says:
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    Typical Lawyer. Avoid explaining the facts of how the product is to be used, and play up the emotions of the injured. If you dont put all the lug nuts on your car after changing a tire, there is a reasonable change the wheel will come off and you will crash. It doesnt mean the lug nuts or the wheel are defective. It means the individual is responsible for his own accident. The same is true in this case. I rode a trek mt bike from 2008 – 2013 with that exact skewer and can say that there is no way the skewer could have possibly caused the accidents that led to the injuries, unless user error was involved. Its that simple. Another example of Lawyers making the world a worse place, and becoming rich doing it.

  3. Nick says:
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    If I leave my shoe laces in the open position they may become lodged under the shoe and cause me serious injury.