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Shimano Faces U.S. Class Action Over Alleged Defective Bicycle Parts

Lawsuit claims major bike part recall due to design flaws, affecting numerous owners
Japan
s 7309.TSE Blue Chip 150 Consumer 250
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Shimano, the renowned Japanese bicycle parts manufacturer, is embroiled in a class action lawsuit in the United States, accused of deliberately selling faulty cranksets. These components, crucial for translating pedal force to bicycle motion, were produced in Japan from June 2012 to June 2019. In September 2023, Shimano initiated a voluntary recall citing potential bonding separation issues, affecting about 680,000 units shipped to the U.S.

During an earnings call, Shimano’s President Taizo Shimano acknowledged the lawsuit’s early stages, emphasizing the company’s focus on customer relationships. The legal challenge involves Shimano and three key bicycle makers—Giant from Taiwan and the U.S.-based Trek and Specialized—sued by 14 bike owners. These plaintiffs argue the recalled parts were inherently defective, seeking damages for their grievances.

In the wake of 4,519 reported incidents of crankset failures, Shimano recorded a significant financial hit, with a 17 billion yen ($114 million) extraordinary loss in 2023 for related inspection and replacement costs. As the legal proceedings advance, with a court hearing scheduled for early April, Shimano has sought to dismiss the lawsuit, promising diligent action alongside local legal counsel. The number of plaintiffs joining the suit remains uncertain, underscoring the ongoing dispute’s potential impact on Shimano and its business partnerships.

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