EUGENE, Ore. — A costly bike recall has a local company working overtime to help its customers get the parts they need to be safe on the road.
Bike Friday is recalling nearly 4,000 of its bikes because of a handlebar stem problem.
The local family company is known worldwide for its high-end, compactible bikes. But now its recalling nearly 4,000 of its Tikit models because the bike’s handlebar stem can break, causing the rider to lose control.
“As soon as we started hearing that, we started investigating what was causing the problem,” said Hanna Scholz, Bike Friday general manager.
That’s when it found two people had been injured when the bar broke.
“One gentleman had a mild concussion and cuts and scrapes and stuff, and another gentleman had a cut on his face and he had to get some stitches,” Scholtz said.
For the past two months the company has been notifying its customers.
“Initially, I was very stressed out about how it was going to go, and frankly, the customers have been very sympathetic,” said technician Phil Goodrich.
The customers don’t have to send the bike back. Instead, they ship back the stem.
“I’d say we jumped in with both feet rather than for waiting for someone to say you got a problem,” Goodrich said.
Because the bikes are custom made, each new stem must fit the bike. Then they’re shipped back to the customers all around the world. Bike Friday then refunds the cost of the mechanic.
“It has been everybody working extra overtime figuring out how to communicate with all these people around the world, all these different time zones, all these different languages, and make sure people stay safe,” Scholtz said.
It’s likely costing this company upwards of a half a million dollars but one it says is worth it to ensure all of its customer are safe.
Local vendor Mac Industries supplied a portion of the part that was having problems. The company immediately scrapped the part and has been working with Bike Friday to deliver parts at cost. It’s also taking a hit from this.