On August 11, 2014, the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHTSA) announced the recall by Continental Tire the Americas, LLC (Continental) of 8,070 motorcycle tires for tread and belt separation defects. The tires subject to the recall include certain ContiAttack SM, ContiSportAttack, ContiSportAttack2, ContiRaceAttack Comp. Soft, ContiRaceAttack Comp. Medium, ContiRaceAttack Comp. Endurance, and ContiRoadAttack 2 GTW motorcycle tires in sizes 120/70ZR17 and 120/70R17. According to the report released by NHTSA, the affected tires contain a defect that may cause a separation between the tires’ tread, belt, and carcass. This separation can cause a loss of inflation pressure in the tires and increase the risk of a motorcycle crash. Continental has stated that it will notify owners of the recall and that dealers will replace the defective tires at no cost to the consumer.
Defective tires on motorcycles and other motor vehicles may cause serious injuries and wrongful deaths. Who can be held responsible for injuries or deaths caused by defective motorcycle or other vehicle tires? The answer may depend on the circumstances of a particular case and the product liability law of the state in which an action to recover damages for such injuries or deaths is filed.
The Killino Firm’s motorcycle accident and defective products attorneys have considerable experience and expertise with all types of motor vehicle accident cases, including those arising out of crashes caused by defective motorcycles or other vehicles, or defective tires. If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in a motorcycle or other motor vehicle crash and you suspect that your injury or loved one’s death was caused by a defective motorcycle, motorcycle tire, or other defective motor vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation for the damages you have suffered. Contact The Killino Firm’s injury and wrongful death attorneys for expert assistance with your accident case.
Legal Liability for Injuries or Deaths Caused by Defective Motorcycles or Motorcycle Tires
As is true with respect to all motor vehicles, motorcycles can be considered defective as a result of defects in any of their component parts, including the tires. When a defect in a motorcycle or other motor vehicle is determined to have been a cause of an accident victim’s injury or death, the companies responsible for the production of the vehicle or of any of the vehicle’s parts can be held liable, along with others involved in the distribution of the vehicle, for the victim’s injury or death.
Such actions are generally brought pursuant to the product liability law of the state in which the action is filed. Though product liability law differs somewhat from state to state, most states follow some version of the Model Uniform Product Liability Act (MUPLA) and provide for product liability actions in the form of breach of warranty, negligence, and strict liability claims. While breach of warranty claims may be brought to recover the costs of paying for products that turned out to be defective and, therefore, not what purchasers had intended to buy, negligence or strict liability claims may be brought to recover damages suffered as a result of victims’ personal injuries or deaths. Strict liability claims are usually favored by plaintiffs over negligence claims, as strict liability claims allow a plaintiff to establish defendants’ liability without having to prove that any of the defendants were negligent in producing a defective product or releasing it to consumers.
Under most states’ product liability laws, the designer, manufacturer, assembler, supplier, and retailer of a defective product may be held strictly liable for injuries or deaths caused by a product’s defect. When the defect in question is a defect in a motor vehicle or vehicle component, some states will relieve the vehicle’s seller of liability if the seller was unaware of the defect at the time of the sale. Thus, the manufacturer and designer of a motorcycle, the manufacturer and designer of a motorcycle’s tires, and others involved in the motorcycle’s production or distribution may be found strictly liable in a product liability action for the injury or death of an accident victim that is determined to have been caused by a defect in the motorcycle’s tires.
This liability can be imposed not only for injuries or deaths sustained by drivers or riders of motorcycles with defective tires, but also for injuries or deaths caused to occupants of other vehicles who have been injured or killed in crashes that are determined to have been caused by a motorcycle tire defect. In some cases, the negligence of one or more drivers may combine with a motorcycle or other vehicle defect to cause an accident victim’s injuries or death. In these cases, the drivers whose negligence is determined to have been causal of the victims’ injuries or deaths may be held liable for such injuries or deaths through the institution of negligence actions against the negligent drivers.
Obtain Expert Assistance from The Killino Firm, P.C.
The Killino Firm’s team of motorcycle accident attorneys has extensive experience with all types of motorcycle and other vehicle accident cases, including those arising out of defects in motorcycles or other motor vehicles or in motor vehicle tires. Our personal injury and wrongful death attorneys are dedicated to finding justice for all those who have been injured or killed through someone’s negligence or a defective product. Contact The Killino Firm for a cost-free evaluation of your case and more information about your legal rights and options.