Norco Adams Trail-A-Bike: dangerous assembly error by manufacturer

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by John Faughnan, Mar 22, 2003.

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  1. I've written about this to both REI (who sold us our Trail-A-Bike) and to Norco (the manufacturer
    [1]). REI did respond to a phone call and did receive my email, but they have not followed up beyond
    some initial questions. Norco has not responded. I'm hoping both are moving to fix the problem but
    wish to maintain plausible deniability for liability reasons.

    I think this problem is worth passing on. The fix is really trivial, so I hope Norco will do it. If,
    on the other hand, they don't fix it, they'll eventually be sued. This newsgroup posting may
    influence the outcome of a suit, but I'm hoping it will instead encourage a fix.

    The Trail-A-Bike has a U-joint that allows lateral motion. That motion is very important; without
    lateral movement the child bike is rigidly fixed to the leading bike, and swaying motions are
    amplified and transmitted.

    Our Trail-A-Bike was assembled and shipped by Norco with a severely overtightened U-joint bolt on
    both of the post attachments we received. The U-joint could not move at all, all motion was in the
    seatpost clamp. I actually rode it like this; I'm impressed my son stayed on the bike. The
    arrangement was very unstable! It would have been easy to have been pitched into a passing car.

    I fixed the U-joint (a strong wrench to open it and then, as specified in the maintenance
    instructions, some light grease). The Trail-A-Bike, working as designed, is a real pleasure. My
    son loves it.

    REI confirmed that they have received many Trail-A-Bike's with a fixed U-joint (overtightened bolt).
    Bike assembly people are supposed to detect the problem and fix it. I work in medicine and in
    developing software solutions to prevent medical error. We know from abundant evidence that
    inspection-based error correction like this is quite failure prone.

    The real solution is for Norco to change the bolt to one with a fixed length thread, and cannot be
    overtightened during manufacturer assembly (the U joint assembly is put together by Norco). The cost
    of the bolt change would be very, very small.

    In the meantime, I hope users of Trail-A-Bikes and those who assemble them will check the U-joint.
    If you find a problem, please go the web site and contact Norco [1]. Encourage them to change the
    bolt design.

    It was easy for us to fix this problem and we suffered no injury at all. My obligation as a parent
    and human is to try to prevent others from being injured. I hope through this posting and my emails
    and calls to REI and Norco that potential injuries will be avoided.

    john faughnan [email protected] www.faughnan.com

    [meta: jfaughnan, jgfaughnan, Trail-A-Bike, trailer bike, hitch, manufacturer, recall, defect,
    liability, risk, injury, prevention, TrailABike, Trail A Bike, bicycling, bicycle]

    [1] http://www.norco.com/adams/
     
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  2. On 22 Mar 2003 06:29:51 -0800 in rec.bicycles.misc, [email protected] (John Faughnan) wrote:

    > I hope through this posting and my emails and calls to REI and Norco that potential injuries will
    > be avoided.

    if you want norco to really take action, have a lawyer send them a letter. it doesn't even have to
    say that you're preparing to take action --- all it has to do is set forth the problem, and ask them
    what they intend to do about it in the future, along with a request that they reply by a certain
    date, sent by certified mail. guaranteed to work!
     
  3. [email protected] (Dennis P. Harris) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > On 22 Mar 2003 06:29:51 -0800 in rec.bicycles.misc, [email protected] (John Faughnan) wrote:
    > > I hope through this posting and my emails and calls to REI and Norco that potential injuries
    > > will be avoided.
    > if you want norco to really take action, have a lawyer send them a letter. it doesn't even have to
    > say that you're preparing to take action --- all it has to do is set forth the problem, and ask
    > them what they intend to do about it in the future, along with a request that they reply by a
    > certain date, sent by certified mail. guaranteed to work!

    Our excellent state representative suggested this federal web site:

    http://www.cpsc.gov/talk.html

    One can submit defect reports there. I completed the form.

    john

    john faughnan [email protected] www.faughnan.com

    [meta: jfaughnan, jgfaughnan, Trail-A-Bike, trailer bike, hitch, manufacturer, recall, defect,
    liability, risk, injury, prevention, TrailABike, Trail A Bike, bicycling, bicycle]
     
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