NHTSA’s Proposed Motorcycle Brake System Rule Stops Consumers Legal Right to Justice System

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NHTSA’s Proposed Motorcycle Brake System Rule Stops Consumers Legal Right to Justice System  

For Immediate Release: November 17, 2008

Contact: Jen Fuson
202.965.3500, ext. 8369

NHTSA’s Proposed Motorcycle Brake System Rule Stops Consumers Legal Right to Justice System

Preemption Clause Would Grant Blanket Immunity to Manufacturers of Faulty Brakes

Washington, DC—In a rule designed to give consumers an updated standard for motorcycle brakes, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) attempts to diminish consumers’ legal right to hold manufacturers accountable through the civil justice system, according to comments filed by the American Association for Justice (AAJ) today.

NHTSA’s proposed rule on motorcycle brake systems includes specific language in the rule’s preamble that would preempt state tort law claims related to motorcycle brake systems, essentially prohibiting consumers from legally holding motorcycle brake manufacturers accountable for faulty brakes if the brakes meet NHTSA’s minimum safety standard as proposed by this rule. 

“NHTSA has repeatedly put manufacturers’ profits ahead of consumers’ safety by eliminating citizens’ basic right to hold manufacturers accountable when they have made a defective product,” said AAJ President Les Weisbrod. “Safety standards should go hand-in-hand with a strong civil justice system to encourage manufacturers to optimize safety standards.”

To date, NHTSA has proposed 19 different rules that include preemption language that attempt to preempt state tort law claims, including standards relating to seatbelts, school bus safety, seating positions, and roof crush standards.   

Read the comments related to motorcycle brakes submitted to NHTSA here.

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