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Assploding carbon defect lawsuits

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Assploding carbon defect lawsuits

Old 08-07-18, 08:38 PM
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Lanterne Rogue
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Assploding carbon defect lawsuits

Interesting and level-headed overview of the rising number of lawsuits against the manufacturers of carbon bike parts. Story also looks at the iffy-ness of buying used carbon bikes.

FTA: The San Diego attorney "obtained documents from the Chinese manufacturer (a settlement agreement forbids him from naming the company). Using a Mandarin translator, he found that the factory had no standards on how carbon fiber is produced. No rules restricted how thick it should be or how much impact it needed to absorb in a collision, Coats said."

https://www.outsideonline.com/231181...dents-lawsuits
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Old 08-07-18, 08:43 PM
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I read that article- pretty lame.

You'll miss very little if you skip it.
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Old 08-08-18, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
I read that article- pretty lame.

You'll miss very little if you skip it.
I just skimmed though it. It has amazingly little substance.
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Old 08-08-18, 08:31 AM
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I found the article to be interesting.

It seemed to dwell a lot on a single case of a broken fork & accident where the rider apparently suffered a concussion, but was able to describe the feeling moments before the accident (despite the concussion). Hopefully there were witnesses.

Many of the broken carbon fiber posts on the web are based on crashes causing the broken carbon rather than the broken carbon causing the crashes, although I presume there are a few of the latter.

There are a LOT of carbon fiber forks out there.
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Old 08-08-18, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I found the article to be interesting.

It seemed to dwell a lot on a single case of a broken fork & accident where the rider apparently suffered a concussion, but was able to describe the feeling moments before the accident (despite the concussion). Hopefully there were witnesses.

Many of the broken carbon fiber posts on the web are based on crashes causing the broken carbon rather than the broken carbon causing the crashes, although I presume there are a few of the latter.

There are a LOT of carbon fiber forks out there.
I was JRA, and my fork assploded.
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Old 08-08-18, 08:45 AM
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She's also suing over a more than 10-year-old bicycle that she bought used.
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Old 08-08-18, 08:46 AM
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I read the article and my aluminum bike cracked.
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Old 08-08-18, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
She's also suing over a more than 10-year-old bicycle that she bought used.
Things should last forever. I'm still driving a car from the 1920s and riding a horse from the 1850s.
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Old 08-08-18, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Things should last forever. I'm still driving a car from the 1920s and riding a horse from the 1850s.
That is a mighty old horse!!! Or are you confusing a horse with a tortoise?
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Old 08-08-18, 09:07 AM
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I found Giant's defense ... interesting. Giant Taiwan says they are immune to lawsuits because they didn't sell the bike. Giant America says they are immune because they didn't make the bike.

If courts start knocking down that kind of defense, the price of bikes could increase significantly.
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Old 08-08-18, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
She's also suing over a more than 10-year-old bicycle that she bought used.
True, but should 10 year old bikes be discarded due to safety concerns? When we buy a new bike, how long can we reasonably expect the fork to remain intact?
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Old 08-08-18, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
She's also suing over a more than 10-year-old bicycle that she bought used.
Absolutely.

If my Colnago that I bought used 35 years ago should fail, the first I would blame would be the manufacturer. Especially since it is one of the first gen Colnago Supers, and may well have been brazed by the current CEO.

It is hard to say where the cutoff should be between fault of the manufacturer and fault of the end user. In my book 10 years old is still pretty new. But, there can be a lot of water under the bridge in that time period.
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Old 08-08-18, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by memebag View Post
I found Giant's defense ... interesting. Giant Taiwan says they are immune to lawsuits because they didn't sell the bike. Giant America says they are immune because they didn't make the bike.

If courts start knocking down that kind of defense, the price of bikes could increase significantly.
It must be more onion layers that aren't happening with other products.

Toyota is absolutely liable for cars sold in the USA.

If I bought a faulty toy at Walmart that killed a child, then I'd expect
SOMEONE to take the blame.
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Old 08-08-18, 09:16 AM
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I want a restraining order against all the squirrels that try to jump through my front wheel in an attempt to kill me. Bad year here.
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Old 08-08-18, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Absolutely.

If my Colnago that I bought used 35 years ago should fail, the first I would blame would be the manufacturer. Especially since it is one of the first gen Colnago Supers, and may well have been brazed by the current CEO.

It is hard to say where the cutoff should be between fault of the manufacturer and fault of the end user. In my book 10 years old is still pretty new. But, there can be a lot of water under the bridge in that time period.
Your math is a little off. The crash happened in 2013
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Old 08-08-18, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
That is a mighty old horse!!! Or are you confusing a horse with a tortoise?
I can assure you, the tortoise is a lot more confused than I am!
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Old 08-08-18, 09:36 AM
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I look forward to the expert legal opinions on this thread.
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Old 08-08-18, 09:54 AM
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I thought the article was about personal injury lawyers doing what they do.
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Old 08-08-18, 09:55 AM
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The US government and EU have standards for the manufacturing of car parts. Surprising to me that, according to this article, no similar standards exist for bicycle parts. Also surprising to me that so many riders here seem to entrust their lives to (apparently) standard-less Chinese carbon bike part manufacturers that create shell companies to evade legal liability for accidents caused by product defects.
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Old 08-08-18, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Lanterne Rogue View Post
Also surprising to me that so many riders here seem to entrust their lives to (apparently) standard-less Chinese carbon bike part manufacturers that create shell companies to evade legal liability for accidents caused by product defects.
Where's the proof that a manufacturers defect caused the crash?
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Old 08-08-18, 10:12 AM
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I have had two experiences that reinforce my unwillingness to ride carbon fiber. 1) I built fiberglass racing sailboats as one of the hands on laminators. I know how critical workmanship is and how important it is that eyes and/or hands actually see/feel all of the laminate, especially in places where life and death are at stake. 2) I know first hand the potential consequences of a fork failure.

To risk 2) again because of a laminate that has never seen human either eyes or hands. Nah, I'll pass. Most CF forks and frames are made inside enclosed female molds. Human hands and eyes have access to the lamininate as it is laid into the opened mold halves (and the laminate is just floppy pieced of carbon fiber imbued with resin, sorta like a burlap fabric coated with molasses and allowed to dry for a few days) but once the mold is closed, that laminate is never seen again. Everybody trusts that the resin set up as it should, that nothing moved, the the vacuum bag pressing the laminate against the mold did its job including the quality control officer.

I have had 2 steel forks fail on me but both gave me warning and I removed and replaced them before the resulting crash.

Ben
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Old 08-08-18, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by memebag View Post
True, but should 10 year old bikes be discarded due to safety concerns? When we buy a new bike, how long can we reasonably expect the fork to remain intact?
When I buy a bike, I expect the fork (and the frame, and most of the parts) to last a long time. More than 10 years, generally, because I take care of my things. I ride the bike hard, and "abuse" it on gravel, in the way it's designed to withstand. I don't hit it with a hammer or crash it or anything.

A used bike is a different story, you don't know it's history, whether it's been truly abused or not.

The key isn't that it's old enough that we should just assume it's no good; the key is that it's had plenty of opportunity to have its structure compromised by some kind of impact.
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Old 08-08-18, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Lanterne Rogue View Post
The US government and EU have standards for the manufacturing of car parts. Surprising to me that, according to this article, no similar standards exist for bicycle parts. Also surprising to me that so many riders here seem to entrust their lives to (apparently) standard-less Chinese carbon bike part manufacturers that create shell companies to evade legal liability for accidents caused by product defects.
We have strict regulations about the letters medical centers have to send patients after a mammogram, but not after a ductogram. You know what they say about legislation.
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Old 08-08-18, 11:08 AM
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****
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Old 08-08-18, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
It is hard to say where the cutoff should be between fault of the manufacturer and fault of the end user. In my book 10 years old is still pretty new.
If you buy a bike used, the age of the bike is irrelevant. I could buy a CF Synapse tomorrow, practice doing ten-foot drops the next day, and sell it the day after .... "It only has about ten miles on it!" But most of the mileage was straight down with about two tons of force.
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