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Class Action Against Harley Davidson



A class action lawsuit alleging that motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson defectively designed several models of motorcycles will go forward, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The case is now pending in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California (San Francisco). Harley-Davidson had asked the judge to dismiss the case; however, the judge has recently refused to dismiss the plaintiff's claims of violations of the Consumer Legal Remedies Act and further claims for fraudulent and unfair business practices. He has ruled that the case can go forward. Further proceedings to determine whether the case can be certified as a class action are expected shortly.

The main allegation in the case is that four Harley-Davidson engines, namely Twin Cam 88-, 96-, 103-, and 110-cubic-inch models produce severe and excessive heat, causing clothing catching fire, burn injuries to operators and passengers, and premature engine wear leading to transmission failure. These motorcycles have been manufactured since 1999. The plaintiff contends that the problem is caused by Harley's manufacture of large air-cooled engines that, without the excessive heat problems, cannot meet stringent emission regulations in California and other states. The complaint further alleges that the engines pose a constant danger to riders of being burned and are therefore not fit for their intended use. Harley-Davidson allegedly has sold tens of thousands of these motorcycles in California alone, without disclosing the defect to potential buyers.

The plaintiff contends that there is a simple solution: Use water-cooled engines instead of the present air-cooled models. Despite the availability of this alleged solution, and Harley-Davidson's knowledge of the problem, the plaintiff contends that Harley-Davidson has continued to manufacture dangerous engines since the early 2000s. The plaintiff further alleges that Harley-Davidson has refused to fix the problems when buyers complain about them. Instead, the manufacturer has repeatedly told buyers that the heating problem is normal.

If you or a family member has sustained injuries due to the use of Harley-Davidson motorcycles, you should contact a motorcycle accident attorney experienced in product liability to protect your rights and determine the appropriate remedies available.