Yakima Products Inc. has issued a product recall of its Mighty Joe 2 and Mighty Joe 3 bicycle racks. It's voluntarily recalling all Mighty Joe 2 and Mighty Joe 3 racks (part numbers 8002609 and 8002608, respectively) due to safety concerns.
Yakima told SNEWSÂ® that the company has notified the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the recall as of Oct. 4, and it will cooperate with the agency in administrating the recall as required by law. Â
The two rear-of-car-mounted, strap-style racks began shipping in the first quarter of 2005, and approximately 17,000 (total number for both units) have been shipped to date. As a result of warranty calls that began cropping up in August, Yakima began an investigation and determined that if the straps are over-tightened or unevenly tightened it can cause the hub to deform slightly. When deformed, if the support arms are adjusted and the user manually engages the latches rather than allowing the system to automatically engage, the latches designed to support the load arms may appear to be latched when they are not. In such a case, the bicycle load arms may collapse while one or more bicycles are mounted on the rack, which could cause injury or product damage. Yakima told us that there have been no reports of serious damage or any injuries.
Jim Clark, CEO of Yakima, told SNEWSÂ® that the company is in the process of formulating an official plan for handling the details of the recall in accordance with NHTSA regulations. In the meantime, retailers have been notified to pull all products from the retail floor. If possible, retailers should notify consumers to stop the use of the racks.
Retailers should not send product back to Yakima until specifically instructed by the company. It is likely, though not yet confirmed, that Yakima will be replacing the entire rack rather than attempt to replace single or multiple parts, we have been told. Detailed instructions regarding what steps should be taken by retailers, plus information about how Yakima will manage compensation of retailers, will be issued by Yakima by Oct. 18. Yakima will also be issuing formal notices to consumers, detailing what steps they should take regarding the recall to receive compensation.
SNEWSÂ® View: Ouch! Not exactly what Yakima wanted or needed in its first year out from under the WaterMark umbrella. However, the company deserves a round of applause for being very proactive in the face of a bad situation and, we would have to say, doing everything it can to ensure that retailers are not left feeling they've been sold a bill of goods. We do assume that in the future, Yakima testing, which is already reportedly quite rigorous, will become even more so as it is our belief that this problem should have been caught in the lab, not on the back of an expensive car toting an expensive bike.