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Wrongful Death Lawsuit Claims Harley-Davidson Throttle Defective

A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed in Texas, alleging that a malfunctioning electronic throttle on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle caused a fatal accident in 2008.

The Harley-Davidson lawsuit was filed in Tarrant County court by Cindy DeBartolo, whose husband, John, was killed on March 24, 2008 when he lost control of his 2008 FLHX Harley-Davidson days after repairs were supposedly made to address problems with the throttle. Cindy DeBartolo was also riding on the bike at the time of the crash and sustained serious injuries in the motorcycle accident as well.

According to the complaint, the electronic throttle malfunctioned on the motorcycle just a week after John DeBartolo purchased the Harley-Davidson bike on March 15, 2008 from Longhorn Harley-Davidson in Grand Prarie, Texas. He took the motorcycle back to the dealership for repair, and it was returned to him on March 22. The motorcycle accident lawsuit alleges that couple was riding the bike two days later when the electronic throttle failed again, causing the fatal crash.

Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Inc. and LHD Partners L.P., doing business as Longhorn Harley-Davidson, are named as defendants in the lawsuit. DeBartolo alleges that the motorcycle was defectively manufactured and unreasonably dangerous, and that the dealership failed to properly repair the electronic throttle.

In December 2009, Harley-Davidson issued an unrelated recall for more than 111,000 family touring motorcycles due to fuel tanks that could leak or catch fire after a crash. The Harley-Davidson motorcycle recall affects 22 different models of 2009 and 2010 Harley-Davidson Touring, CVO and Trike motorcycles, which were manufactured between June 6, 2008 and November 19, 2009.

Photo Attribute: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rbitting/ / CC BY 2.0

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Image via Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

52 comments

  1. Tim Reply

    2014 Harley Davidson ultra limited 2k miles

    Purchased new November 2014
    I have had intermitting problems with limp mode 12 times.
    Codes P1511, P0641 every time.

    Has been at the dealership 4 times!
    It is at the dealership now! Each time this bike has went into limp mode. I was lucky to get out of traffic. However, it has been some close calls!. Especially setting on the side of the road at night time!

    I have learned how to go into diagnostics to clear the codes. So that I can restart the bike.
    Also made a video of the last time this bike went into limp mode.

    Anyone one with any suggestions?
    As the 2007 Street Glide I traded in never gave me any problems. Regret trading that bike in!

  2. TIM Reply

    I have an 08 Streetglide with 40,000 miles bought the bike new last weekend riding in a pack of 6 bikes @80mph loss throttle bike was still running but no throttle. Pulled over and got the code to reset. Same group was at the 100th in Mil and one of the other bikes had same problem limped his bike to dealer after spending all day at dealer because they didn’t know how to fix problem they called Harley and was told they [Harley] knew of problem but no service recall was issued. They said it was a fix on fail problem.But called local dealership and asked about it today they know nothing about it. They told me they could fix it for $350.00. I can replace pins a lot cheaper myself. If Harley knows they have a problem they should step up and acknowledge it

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