Class Action Suit Against Harley Clears Another Hurdle

   (CN) - Four bikers can move forward with a class action that claims Harley Davidson manufactured defective motorcycles that burn drivers' legs, a federal judge ruled.
Phillip Johnson, Jimmy Aldridge, Randy Vandermolen and Matthew Weyuker alleged that since 1999, Twin Cam engines in Harley motorcycles were prone to overheating and caused burn injuries to their legs. Transmissions on models manufactured since 2006 also came with defective speed transmissions, the bikers claimed.
Harley Davidson asked the Eastern District of California court to throw out the claims under state law.
But while U.S. District Judge John Mendez granted the motion to dismiss in part, he sided with the bikers on their claims for fraudulent and unfair business practices, violations of Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA), and unjust enrichment.
"Plaintiffs sufficiently allege that the engine defect is material because a reasonable consumer would change his behavior if he knew that the engine heat can cause burns and that the transmission would require numerous repairs or replacements," Mendez wrote.
"Plaintiffs claim that defendant knew of the excessive engine heat defect as early as 1999 and of the transmission defect as early as 2006," the July 21 decision states. "Plaintiffs discovered the excessive heat and transmission defects after purchasing the motorcycles. Since defendant was in a superior position to know of its defective engines, plaintiffs properly allege that defendant had exclusive knowledge of material facts not known to plaintiffs."
Mendez directed the plaintiffs to amend their complaint to "provide more specificity concerning when they discovered the purported defects" because it was "unclear" whether or not the claims were time-barred.
The judge also granted Harley Davidson's motion to dismiss on unlawful business practices with leave to amend.
The plaintiffs' attorney, Lyle Cook of Kershaw, Cutter and Ratinoff, applauded the "victory" for his clients.
"Harley Davidson was trying to say that the claims under California law hadn't been properly pled but the court disagreed with the main thrust of their motion," Cook told Courthouse News.
"With respect to the remainder of the court's order, we intend to amend the complaint consistent with the court's direction," he added.

Web Staff


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  8. I bought a 2014 Heritage Classic in Nov of 13 in may of 14 I went on a iron butt ride in 90 degree heat . When I got home I had clear blisters on the back on my right leg. They were like 2nd degree burns. I caled Harley Davidson and they said to take bike to the dealer. I took the bike that week to the harley shop( the temp meter that i used at my friends car shop said it was 345 degrees) The harley shop said that was normal. They wrapped my pipes( Which I paid for) and said that if I had new pipes put on it for the tune of a $1000.00 it would help the heat problem. I had put heat shields on it when I first got it, they helped VERY little. I ordered another set of heat shields they didnt work. Then the person at the Harley shop told me about Shamrock Heat Shields , I Called the company she assured that they would work , Thank goddess the y do and i can now ride my bike without wrapping my legs. Something does need to be done about this. Its dangerous!

  9. The judge here may want to research the issue.. Any "reasonable and prudent" individual knows that ALL air cooled engines run hot. That would include a lawn mower. If you were not so ignorant as to touch the hot part of the engine/exhaust, then you wouldn't get burned.
    Our laws here as so STUPID that it's incredible that we can build/sell anything in the United States. If this were a piece of real estate, the judge would have ruled "tough crap!" and told the plaintiffs that they lacked due diligence prior to their purchase.

  10. With my experience of combined 35 years I rode and owned 5 different Harley Davidson motorcycles so I don't complain to have much problems with mine except normal wear. Well my girlfriend rides her Harley Nightster and got burned badly on her legs left with ugly scar because the rear exhaust pipes Harley Engineer design department did not properly designed it correctly to have heat shield from heating up like a oven also I believe that factory should recall some particular Sportster models to install simple guard to avoid injuries to the Leg in which they could have done better? Too many smart asses agrogant jealous people out there wanting $$$ Law suit $$$ money thats all…

  11. I ride an 08 Road Glide and it does not run any hotter than my 1998. Air cooled engine give off a lot of hot air. Water cooled engine are hot enough to cause burns. Drive your car down the road when it 100 degrees out and then stop, open the hood and crawl on top of the engine with shorts on and see what get burnt! This is STUPID guys get over it!!!!

  12. I bought a new 2002 Heritage Softtail Classic with the twin cam B motor, if that's the one being refered to in the article all I can say is…I rode that engine from 02 to this year and put almost 80,000 miles on it with NO problem from the engine and tranny and NO burns to me. I'd still be riding it if I hadn't traded it in on an Ultra Classic.

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