why the massive recall of Shimano cranksets is the subject of a group complaint

After the recall of 680,000 cranksets that could present a risk of breakage in the United States, a group complaint threatens Shimano – as well as Trek and Specialized – for being slow to react and whose inspections are inadequate.

We could almost call it Shimanogate as the proportions are large for the world of cycling. On September 21, the Japanese manufacturer announced the recall of 2.8 million Shimano Hollowtech cranksets – including 680,000 in the United States and 80,000 in Canada. These are also renowned models for high-end road bikes, responding to the names of:

  • Ultegra FC-6800;
  • Ultegra FC-R8000;
  • Dura-Ace FC-9000;
  • Dura-Ace FC-R9100;
  • Dura-Ace FC-R9100-P.

However, only examples built before July 2019 are affected by this recall. Indeed, numerous breakages have been reported by customers in recent years, leading to falls, without Shimano reacting. A delay criticized by a group action filed against the company across the Atlantic.

A Shimano recall too late and inappropriate?

In the complaint file, it is confirmed that 4,519 incidents have been recorded since 2016 in North America, a handful of which are believed to have caused injuries. “significant injuries” fracture type. But fortunately, no deaths are known at this time.

The scale of the recall is such that bicycle retailers will have difficulty keeping up, since we are talking about nearly 3 million products. “Even after waiting for inspection, riders will be without a bike for weeks before a replacement is provided by Shimano and installed by the dealer” assures the complaint.

Trek Domane 5.9 Dura-Ace 2016

She continues by disputing the nature of the reminder, which therefore consists of a visual analysis of the crankset, without a resistance test. For the complainers, the workshops “should not be put in a position to make advanced technical judgments in relation to a critical safety issue”.

I have an affected Shimano crankset, what should I do?

Shimano has invited all owners to visit « at a participating retailer starting October 1 [2023]”. If some cranksets present no problems, Shimano recommends regular inspection. Here too the group action expresses a reservation.

“Customers with a crankset that has not yet shown a defect are left in the worrying situation of riding an unsafe bike for months or years” says the document, “waiting for their crankset to give out before Shimano gives them a new one.”

Shimano Ultegra R8000

For those presenting “signs of separation or delamination”the brand promises that they “will receive a free replacement crankset from Shimano, which will be professionally installed by the retailer. » Unfortunately, we do not know the defect rate, Shimano does not communicate on this point.

A complaint across the Atlantic only

If an agreement or judgment follows, this group action currently only concerns the United States, a country specializing in these “class action“. No financial compensation to be expected for French customers. But as with Dieselgate at Volkswagen, similar lawsuits in France and Europe could emerge.

Please note that the manufacturers Specialized Bicycle Components and Trek Bicycle Corporation are also affected by this group complaint. This duo equipped a number of their models with the famous defective cranksets. “The suit points out that neither Specialized nor Trek issued a recall for bicycles equipped with allegedly defective cranksets,” the document reads.

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