Class-action lawsuit filed against Shimano, Specialized and Trek over Hollowtech crank failures

Proposed class-action lawsuit seeks trial by jury

Broken Shimano crankset

A proposed class-action lawsuit has been filed against Shimano, Specialized and Trek in the USA in the wake of the massive Hollowtech crankset recall.

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The lawsuit alleges the crankset recall is “inadequate”, claiming that, by not recalling all Hollowtech cranksets, Shimano is “working hard to limit the cost of fixing the issue at the expense of consumers”.

The suit also accuses Trek and Specialized of “knowingly and intentionally misrepresenting, omitting, concealing, and/or failing to disclose material facts regarding the quality, reliability, and safety of the cranksets.”

“Inadequate recall”

Broken Shimano crankset
The lawsuit has been filed after Shimano issued a recall of affected cranksets in the US.
Jack Luke / Our Media

The filing follows a recall of 2.8 million cranksets globally after the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission reported 4,519 incidents of cranksets separating, resulting in six injuries.

Shimano says it will offer riders equivalent replacement cranksets should their cranks fail an inspection process.

However, riders with cranksets showing no signs of separation are not eligible for a replacement crankset.

The lawsuit alleges this will leave riders “in the frightening position of having to ride a dangerous bicycle for months or years, waiting on their cranksets to separate and potentially cause a crash before Shimano will give them a new one”.

Likewise, riders who have already disposed of broken cranksets that they have replaced prior to the recall are not eligible for a replacement crankset or other compensation.

Mechanics at risk?

The recall programme is being administered by bike shops.
The recall programme is being administered by bike shops.
Kaden Gardener / Our Media

The suit says mechanics are being asked to perform “an important engineering determination” in judging whether a crankset is defective

It adds: “bicycle mechanics are being asked to make this engineering judgment based solely on a visual inspection, without the benefit of stress testing”.

The suit alleges mechanics could incur “the potential legal liability in the event a replacement is denied and the Defective Crankset later breaks and causes an injury”.

Reduced resale value

The suit alleges Shimano and bike brands “fraudulently concealed the Defective Cranksets”.

This, the suit claims, means riders have been “injured financially” as their bikes “are of a lesser standard, grade and quality than represented”.

What happens now?

The suit seeks a ruling on, among other things:

  • “A declaration that the Defective Cranksets are defective”
  • An award to plaintiffs of “of compensatory, exemplary, and punitive remedies and damages and statutory penalties, including interest, in an amount to be proven at trial”
  • A “Defendent-funded program” to reimburse “out-of-pocket and loss-of-use expenses and damages claims associated with the Defective Cranksets”

The suit requests a trial by jury.

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In a statement to BikeRadar, a Shimano spokesperson said the brand “cannot comment on any legal matters at this time”.