BMW K 1600 Motorcycle Class Action Lawsuit Investigation
Last Updated on October 13, 2022
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are no longer investigating this matter. The information here is for reference only. A list of open investigations and lawsuits can be viewed here.
At A Glance
- This Alert Affects:
- Anyone who owns a 2018 or 2019 BMW K 1600 motorcycle.
- What’s Going On?
- Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are investigating whether a class action lawsuit can be filed following reports that the handlebars on the motorcycles can shake or vibrate and cause the rider to lose control.
- How Could a Class Action Help?
- If filed and successful, a class action lawsuit could help riders get back money spent on repairs and force BMW to recall the bikes and offer a fix for the reported instability issue.
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org would like to speak to anyone who owns a 2018 or 2019 BMW K 1600 motorcycle and had problems with the handlebars shaking.
What Models Are Under Investigation?
Attorneys are looking to determine whether a defect exists in the following 2018 – 2019 BMW K 1600 models:
- K 1600 B
- K 1600 GTL
- K 1600 GT
- K 1600 Grand America
What’s the Problem Exactly?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) describes the reported issue with the motorcycles as follows:
“While riding at highway speeds or decelerating, the front handlebars may oscillate and shake violently causing the operator/rider to lose control of the bike potentially resulting in injury or death.”
On March 25, 2019, NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened an investigation into the “steering oscillation” matter after receiving six complaints that the K 1600 motorcycles “were unstable at highway speeds and that the instability was exacerbated while in traffic.” The ODI reported that it had met with BMW months prior and also found that the automaker had received 15 complaints from riders and 12 field reports detailing the same issue – that the motorcycles can become unstable when operating above 60 mph or while slowing down, resulting in a front-end handlebar “wobble” that can be difficult for the rider to control.
Online Complaints: What Are Riders Saying?
The following is an example of complaints regarding the steering oscillation issue that were submitted to the NHTSA and posted online regarding the K 1600 motorcycles [sic throughout]:
WHEN REACHING SPEEDS OF 60+ BIKE SHAKES VIOLENTLY DURING HIGH WINDS OR BEHIND TRUCKS. SWITCHING LANES IS EVEN MORE SCARY. TO ENHANCE THIS ISSUE ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS RAISE YOUR WIND SCREEN FULLY AND OPEN UP THE AIR VENTS ON THE SIDES OF THE BIKE. FOR HAVE YOUR PSI ON TIRES AT 40 OR BELOW.”
— Mount Vernon, New York, NHTSA Complaint
THIS MOTORCYCLE IS UNSTABLE IN ANY WIND CONDITION AT HIGHWAY SPEEDS. IT IS SEVERELY BUFFETED SUFFICIENT ENOUGH TO CAUSE FEAR EVEN IN AN EXPERIENCED RIDER. I AM FAIRLY CERTAIN THAT, WHEN THIS OCCURS, THE BIKE IS AT THE LIMITS OF THE ENVELOP OF STABILITY AND EXPECT IT TO WOBBLE OR WEAVE INTO DEADLY OSCILLATIONS. THE DEALERS SHOULD WARN PEOPLE NOT TO BUY THIS MACHINE. I HAVE BEEN RIDING FOR 50 YEARS ON ALL TYPES OF MOTORCYCLES AND THIS IS THE MOST UNSTABLE I HAVE EVER RIDDEN…WE NEED ENGINEERING EXPERTS TO EVALUATE THIS DESIGN AND FIND OUT WHY A COMPANY LIKE BMW IS GETTING AWAY WITH THIS.”
— Boise, Idaho, NHTSA Complaint
AT HIGH SPEEDS THE REAR END OF THE MOTORCYCLE SHAKES AND TORQUES LIKE A SNAKE. IT DOES NOT INCREASE WITH WIND. IT ALMOST FEELS LIKE YOU LOSE CONTROL OF THE VEHICLE.”
— Pompano Beach, Florida, NHTSA Complaint
THE CONTACT OWNS A 2018 BMW K 1600 GTL. WHILE RIDING AT APPROXIMATELY 50-60 MPH, THE CONTACT STATED THAT THE MOTORCYCLE STARTED TO VIBRATE ABNORMALLY. THE CONTACT STATED THAT THE WOBBLING IN THE STEERING AND SUSPENSION WAS MORE NOTICEABLE WHILE RIDING BEHIND A HIGH PROFILE VEHICLE. THE MOTORCYCLE WAS TAKEN TO GRAND JUNCTION BMW…WHERE IT WAS DIAGNOSED THAT IT WAS UNSAFE TO OPERATE. ADDITIONALLY, THE CONTACT PREVIOUSLY OWNED A 2018 BMW GRAND AMERICA THAT EXPERIENCED THE SAME FAILURE.”
— Eagle, Colorado, NHTSA Complaint
I bought 2018 GA launched with all fanfare in JUNE. As soon as I cross 70 miles it is unstable. The published top speed is 101 MPH. The highest speed I tried…was 90 MPH for few seconds and had to throttle back since motor cycle became very unstable and I thought I was going to loose control. Made two trips to dealer 125 miles away. Wheels re-balanced no improvement. Changed tires at my expense, no change. The bike has about 1000 miles out of that 600 was to and fro to the dealer.”
— Dwarak10, K1600Forum.com
One rider also reported that when operating at highway speeds, his K 1600 GTL exhibited “a dangerously aggressive left pull” that could unintentionally steer the bike into oncoming traffic or left lanes.
How Could a Class Action Lawsuit Help?
A class action lawsuit, if filed and successful, could help riders get back money they spent on repairs and force BMW to recall the motorcycles and issue a fix.
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