Unfortunately, recalls happen all the time. No matter how good the motorcycle manufacturer is, things slip through quality inspection at the factory, and motorcycles get recalled to rectify the problem.
The problem lies in the notification of the recall. Usually the manufacturer will contact the press, and sometimes the press will actually print a small story stating models and problem, but often this is not the case.
So in many cases vehicle owners do not know that their motorcycle or ATV has been recalled. And this can be a big, and often dangerous problem.
Robert Guthrie was one of these people. His Kawasaki ATV got recalled because of a problem with the front wheel that could result in the eventual loss of steering control. And that was exaclty what happened to him. He crashed his ATV, resulting in severe and permanent injuries. So he’s seeking $20 Million in damages from Kawasaki in a lawsuit.
Guthrie’s complaint is that Kawasaki was negligent in warning him that his ATV was not longer safe.
And that’s where the problem lies. Manufacturers often rely on the media to warn users, but as far as news goes, it’s just not interesting enough to print.
Manufacturers have enormous databases with the client lists. They send out mailers offering new models and services all the time. But they rarely involve these mailing campaigns for recalls.
And what happens when you sell your vehicle? The manufacturer will not know who has your bike. So the big question is why manufacturers have no access the DMV databases. There they can quickly scan who has what vehicles, and send a mail recalling the vehicle. It would be the safest way of ensuring that all vehicles get recalled. But that takes time & money, and already the manufacturer is out of pocket running a recall of thousands of motorcycles.
In the USA, there is a government web site with all recalls (Recalls.gov), but this means that the owners need to go and check themselves, and not many people will do that. The responsibility lies with the owner in this case, while it’s should be on the manufacturer’s.
But maybe there’s no choice, and it should become mandatory for all manufacturers. If the DMV doesn’t want to hand over the files, then they should do it. It’s safer, and this way anyone who has that model can be ensured that they get a recall notice.
Also, often the manufacturer will know of a problem, but will only recall when things get really bad, preferring to leave things as is.