Do you (or did you) own any of these model
- 2001 Yamaha Road Star, Midnight Star, Road Star Silverado
models (model numbers: XV16, 16AN, 16ASN, 16 ATN)
- 2002 Yamaha Road Star, Limited Edition, Midnight Star,
Star Warrior, Silverado (model numbers: XV16, 16AP, 16APC,
16ASP, 16ASPC, 16ATP, 16ATPC, XV17 P, 17PC, 17PCP, 17PCPC,
- 2003 Yamaha Road Star, Midnight Star, Limited Edition,
Warrior and Silverado (model numbers: XV16, 16AR, 16ARC,
16ALER, 16ALERC, 16ASR, 16ASRC, 16ATR, 16ATRC, XV17PCP,
17PCPC, 17PCR, 17PCRC)
Burdge Law Office is investigating a potential
class action against Yamaha on behalf of motorcycle owners,
involving a deadly transmission defect.
Filings by Yamaha with the Federal government’s
Safety Recall "department" indicate that between
29,000 and 53,000 Yamaha motorcycles manufactured with defective
transmission parts that can cause the transmission and rear
wheel to lock up while in motion, which can throw the driver
out of control, possibly causing severe injury or even death.
Yamaha has reported to the Federal government
that only about 6,000 or so of these motorcycles were repaired.
Repairs are apparently still taking place but
many owners have yet to find out if the "repair"
will really take care of the problem. Many other owners now
question (with good reason) what their motorcycle will be
worth when they try to resell it.
Other defects may also exist in these and other
If you’ve experienced these or similar
problems and you are interested in helping us in our investigation,
please call 1-888-331-6422 or contact
Below is a list of files you can download
to find out more details on the Yamaha "locking transmission"
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the number of motorcycles
The discrepancy in the numbers comes from the
numbers which Yamaha is, itself, reporting to be affected.
In one place in their documents the number is a total of
29,139 and in another place they break down the numbers and
when you add them up the total is 52,193. In another document,
Yamaha says the total is 26,829. Part of the problem with
the counting process is that the quarterly "repaired
reports" which Yamaha has to file with the federal government
(NTHSA), are required to be made one for each recall. The
more recall numbers involved, the more reports. Here, Yamaha
has itemized the defect as "Recalls M2003-011, M2004-001,
and M2004-002" (that is a direct quote from a Yamaha
"Tech Exchange" bulletin dated 030304 and sent
to its dealers). I guess it all depends on how you count,
but one thing is for sure: one is too many, 29k is too many,
and 52k is clearly too many.
How many motorcycles have been
repaired under this recall?
We can only go by what Yamaha itself reports
the repair numbers to be. On April 8, 2004 Yamaha filed its
quarterly "repaired reports" for one recall (signed
by Russell D. Jura, Sr VP) and said that the number of bikes
involved in that one recall was 26,829 and only 6,073 had
been fixed. Yamaha only has to report numbers once each quarter
and the most recent numbers have not yet been posted by NTHSA
on its website as of July 14, 2004.
Has there ever been an injury?
Two drivers reported to have survived their
crashes and complained about the sudden rear wheel lockup
(their complaints are on file at NTHSA and were sent to Yamaha),
but no one knows how many drivers did not survive and the
crash was blamed on "operator error" or something
else. In fact, in a letter sent to Yamaha on August 20, 2003,
NTHSA notified Yamaha that it had received complaints from
Yamaha motorcycle owners about "sudden, unforeseen,
and unintended rear wheel lockup due to transmission failure
while the motor cycles were being ridden" and that two
of those alleged "a crash with injury". NTHSA sent
Yamaha copies of all the complaints at that time. However,
years before that, this problem was being talked about by
Yamaha owners and denied by Yamaha dealers.
Here's one owner's complaint in May 2001: "PURCHASED
YAMAHA MIDNIGHT ROADSTAR, LEARNED THROUGH INTERNET SITES
OF TRANSMISSION PROBLEMS (LOCK UPS RESULTING IN REAR TIRE
LOCK UPS AND CRASHING - PEOPLE BEING INJURED ETC.) SPOKE
WITH YAMAHA DEALERS WHO "KNEW OF NO SUCH PROBLEM" -
RESULTING IN FEAR OF RIDING SAID VEHICLE (WHICH WE HAD HUNDREDS
OF DOLLARS INVOLVED IN UPGRADES AND ACCESSORIES) RESULTING
IN TRADING IN ON NEW VICTORY MOTORCYCLE TO ALIEVE THE FEAR
(RESULTING IN LOSS OF HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS). RIDING TWO UP
AND WITH OUR KNOWLEDGE UNABLE TO GET ANY RECOGNITION FROM
DEALERS OF PROBLEMS WE SADLY GAVE IN AND TRADED OFF AT MAXEYS
YAMAHA DEALER IN OKLAHOMA CITY (ALSO CLAIMING NO KNOWLEDGE
OF PROBLEM. WE FELT VERY INSECURE RIDING THIS VEHICLE VIN
# WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF VEHICLES REPORTING PROBLEMS ON INTERNET
CHAT TYPE SITES (ONE IN PARTICULAR BEING YAMAHA STAR TOURING
AND RIDING ORGANIZATION). BASICALLY WE LOST LOTS OF MONEY
AND DOWN TIME(NO RIDING) (NO FUN) AGONIZING FEAR WHEN ON
THE BIKE. RIDING AT LOW SPEEDS IN CASE OF MALFUNCTION OCCURRENCE.
IT WAS QUITE A BEAUTIFUL BIKE WITH ALL THAT HAD BEEN DONE
TO IT.*AK" (Nhtsa Office of Defect Investigations document
ID # : 10037500, dated May 9, 2001).
Is this a voluntary
That depends on your point of view. When the
Federal government's Safety Recall "department"
(at NTHSA) wants a manufacturer to recall a defective product,
it notifies the manufacturer of it. If the manufacturer "voluntarily"
does the recall, then the federal government does not issue
the recall. If the manufacturer refuses, then the federal
government can take steps to force the manufacturer to issue
the recall. In this case, Yamaha admitted to the federal
government that Yamaha U.S. had reported field failures (involving
bikes built as early as December 2000) to Yamaha Japan. If
a manufacturer issues its own recall, consumers easily get
the impression that the recall was issued purely out of concern
for public safety. The manufacturer salvages some good publicity
and avoids the bad publicity of the federal government forcing
it to issue a recall. If you aren't sure how the recall process
works, check out the NTHSA Safety Recall "Compendium"
at http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/ and see for yourself.
Dependability and Safety.
No matter how long you've been riding a motorcycle,
we all want safety and dependability. After all, that's part
of what you pay for when you spend thousands of dollars on
a motorcycle, new or not. The last thing anyone wants when
they are riding down the highway is for the rear wheel to
lock up and toss you off your bike. The problem here is that
NHTSA documents show reports of this defect existed for years
before the recalls started (voluntary or not) and you have
to wonder ... if a rider reports the rear wheel locking up
for no reason at all, shouldn't the manufacturer get right
on the problem and find out what is going on and why and
get the word out to get all of them fixed immediately? Of
course they should and it shouldn't take two or three years
to get it done. No one buys a new motorcycle so they can
park it in the garage and watch the dust build up on it.
We’re experienced Lemon Law lawyers who
have been winning cases since 1978. If you’ve got a
dangerous lemon, don’t go it alone!
Call us at 1-888-331-6422 or email us
today for a Free Case Review!
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