Trek Bicycle, with headquarters in Waterloo, announced Tuesday, April 21, it is recalling 900,000 bikes nationwide and 98,000 in Canada due to a quick release lever.
If improperly used, the quick-release lever can become caught in the front brake assembly, causing the front wheel to separate or come to a sudden stop. If that occurs, the rider can to lose control of the bicycle.
The bicycles in the recall are from model years 2000 through 2015 that are equipped with front disc brakes and a black or silver quick release lever on the front wheel hub that opens far enough to contact the disc brake. If a bicycle has a front quick-release lever that does not open a full 180 degrees from the closed position, it is not included in the recall.
The issue came to light last year when Trek officials investigated an accident involving one of their bikes, according to Eric Bjorling, brand communications manager for Trek Bicycle. “We investigate every accident that is reported to us,” he added.
That is when it was discovered that if the quick-release lever is left open it can get caught in the front wheel. It is not a defective part, but can be misused or improperly adjusted.
The company contacted the Consumer Product Safety Commission about the issue, Bjorling said. “We talked to them and realized the safest course of action would be to do a recall,” he added.
“We are taking a leadership roll in all of this,” Bjorling said. “I don’t think it will end with us. It is a popular quick release and is used throughout the industry. We are not the only brand.”
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Trek has reported three incidents have occurred, all involving injuries. One incident resulted in quadriplegia, one in facial injuries and one person sustained a fractured wrist. The quick release safety concern was identified in 2014 when investigating a crash that left a cyclist paralyzed.
Trek said consumers should stop using the bicycles immediately and contact an authorized Trek retailer for free installation of a new quick release on the front wheel.
Trek will provide each owner who participates in the recall with a $20 coupon that is redeemable by Dec. 31 toward any Bontrager merchandise. The coupon has no cash value.
“The response from the retailers are that they are happy we are taking a leadership role and getting out in front of this,” he said. “We made sure the replacement parts were available at retailers before it was announced.”
Bjorling said it is a very simple fix and takes less than five minutes at a retail business.
According safety commission, the bikes were sold nationwide from September 1999 through April of this year for between $480 and $1,650.
Information on proper quick release adjustment, including videos on quick release installation and removal, is available on Trek’s website www.trekbikes.com under manuals and safety.
Trek can be reached at 800-373-4594 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday or at www.trekbikes.com and click on safety and recalls at the bottom of the page for more information.
Since the recall began over a week ago, company representatives have been working many hours to respond to consumer questions, Bjorling said.
“So far the response has been relatively positive,” the spokesman said. “There have been a lot of concerns and questions. We are doing everything we can to make sure the questions are answered promptly and accurately.”