03 December 2012

KingCast Motorsports returns to the mysterious and continuing cases of the shattering Triumph Sprint 955i crankshafts.

You can't watch this movie yet. Only Triumph can watch this movie yet.
You will know Friday at 12:01p EST 
whether you can watch this movie and lawsuit proceedings.
I gave them to the end of the day pursuant to an email from Counsel

This is apparently Triumph's modus operandi -- Read the new journal entry: "Once the sale is made, does Triumph care?" A man in Ontario got rid of his new Triumph after he missed the entire riding season because of a bad valve train. Most people in this situation do not know how to sue. Most people are not me. In the end, this is good for Triumph because it will sensitize them to their position in the marketplace.

If I have to go the distance I started NHTSA tag -- Reference No. 497626 They recommended if I have to pursue legal action that I file a formal complaint with FTC -- they review management policies 1.877.382.4357 My public servant was Robert #23064 and he was professional nice and courteous -- everything Triumph personnel are not. Won't be the first or last time I had to show a corporate behemoth how to behave.
In Movie #2 as Mr. Sprint mentions I discuss the half-assed fuel system recall that I installed only after NHTSA forced Triumph to fix it. Triumph, niggardly as always, only provided the male connectors when the female connector in the tank plate was also made of plastic and fuel-rotted. Had to go buy another one of those as I stuck rags about the tank to curb the leakage. I truly love Triumph motorcycles but the bullshit they can keep, and I will stand up and fight them tooth and nail. As I note in movie #2 Triumph is a premium brand, and every time they half-ass warranty issue or disregard a warranty issue they are diluting the strength and integrity of the marque. In the long run they will thank me. Also the fuel fittings were replaced after Triumph reported but 18 complaints, I know damn well that they have at least that many shattered crankshafts. NHTSA Recall No. 0v-V-156000 I'll be adding this information to my Complaint and also need to add the 93A Treble Damages Demand Letter prior to suit.
Hmmm... folks right down the road from Triumph USA are reading assiduously. If Triumph doesn't quit fucking around the whole World will be watching. Remember, I have my email chains to Peter Carleo and I was a complete gentleman. I will file that in Court. I am drafting the Complaint tonight, 4 Dec. 2012. And BTW I know Georgia fairly well, when I worked at AT&T HQ I worked on the 4G program. Yeah, they have some work to do too but at least the phones don't shatter in your ear, ahem. I lived about 800 feet from the Dunwoody Nature Center and used to scream my K2 inline skates through there, what a hoot. And guess what? I can still ride those very skates, only replaced the wheels and bearings once. They are 9 years old.

Here's the fun part: I still have an interest in the condo down there and I might be headed back for more work in the area. I'm sure Triumph and Peter Carleo will have me out for beers, right.

Speaking of old, here is an old yet relevant case involving Triumph motorcycles. The kid died because his engine or transmission seized up because he power-shifted in front of the dealer, who I guess ran him over. Ignore the physical injury aspect and focus on the liability for injecting a latent defect into the stream of commerce: Zaleskie v. Joyce & Triumph, 133 Vt. 150 (1975):
HN2 One who sells any product in a defective condition unreasonably dangerous to the user or consumer or to his property is subject to liability for physical harm thereby caused to the ultimate user or consumer, or to his property, if (a) the seller is engaged in the business of selling such a product, and (b) it is expected to and does reach the user or consumer without substantial change in the condition in which it is sold. This rule applies although (a) the seller has exercised all possible care in the preparation and sale of his product, and (b) the user or consumer has not bought the product from or entered into any contractual relation with the seller. 
Note that alcohol content, carbon monoxide levels and powershifting are not part of this equation. Triumph had some bad crankshafts, the bikes left the factory with said bad crankshafts and that is all she wrote. The Court can and must take Judicial Notice of Zaleskie per Rule 201. Coincidentally, or perhaps not, Mr. Zaleskie may have died off of the first Triumph Triple that debuted in the year of his crash. His father apparently died in 2004 so I'll probably never know but anyway I interview a guy at this summer's British Iron Association Show and Swap about his T150 Triple at 2:45 into this video:

Who will be my expert witness? Chris T -- the lead mechanic at Greater Boston Motorsports testify. At least he never ran me over, and in fact I just got off the phone with them. He is not a metallurgist nor does he need to be because he can tell the Court what is normal and not normal when it comes to engines and crankshafts self-destructing. We flat out discussed the matter and he has never heard of such a thing on a street engine other than Triumph. Truth be known it's pretty rare on a race engine as well. He is one of Boston's more respected motorcycle mechanics and he is the man who swapped my last engines out. 

I will be approaching Hinckley and U.S. directors. I will likely ride a Triumph until I can't ride anymore  but it shouldn't have to be this painful, as others -- some of whom work for Triumph and who sell Triumph products -- will attest. See below and view my buyers' guide to Hinckley Triples. Buyer's guide, heck I thought I had it all sorted! 

WHOA.... Even Victory motorcycles, with no history of shattered cranks, apparently gave all the parts necessary to a guy with 8 year old bike with 21K miles versus my 13K miles on the Sprint. If Triumph wants me to embarrass them in Court I'll be more than happy to do that even though that is NOT what I had wished for. If they are giving up the parts with no history don't you think Triumph should have been giving up the parts and at least half the labour? Hell yah, it should have BEEN A RECALL. Perhaps I need to contact NHTSA. For the coup de gras where does Martin live? In ENGLAND. Fuck me, right? No, fuck Triumph.

Update: Spoke with Mark in Central Warranty; he informs that there is no central policy on the matter and that each market works independently and may or may not choose to escalate to England. He did say he didn't foresee a major problem but exactly what that means in terms of dollars and cents remains to be seen.......and given that I have promised Mr. Carleo that our conversation would be held in confidence the World will only know what happened if we fail to reach resolution or if a lawsuit is actually filed. I sincerely hope the World never knows and I can get on with the gettin' on.

Second update: Triumph told me to go pound sand. I told them to see me in Court. I spoke with their lawyer for a while yesterday. She tried to downplay the Internet postings and I said look, we have other ways to validate my claims that Triumph knew of this problem for a while... including direct emails to me from other people.... and Massachusetts, where I bought the bike, offers treble damages for implied warranty breaches. As others have noted, Triumph has taken a makeshift approach to this problem that belies responsibility for injecting what is clearly a defective product into the stream of commerce. Stay ahem... tuned for lack of a better word. 
OK so I admit the title of this journal entry is somewhat misleading:
There is no real mystery to this, as noted by the bloke who was a Triumph Service Manager:
There were a bunch of faulty cranks. 
Of course they will argue hearsay but it almost doesn't matter because the Court can and should take judicial notice that crankshafts on modern vehicles don't just up and shatter so I may or may not need an expert witness. If they bring one I will drill him or her to produce other examples of modern crankshafts exploding but they know goddamn well they cannot do this. It really is a case of res ipsa -- the very first thing you learn in law school. Then you learn it later in products liability cases.

"So Triumph claims all of these Internet board conversations about bad cranks is hearsay?"
"That's correct Mr. King. What have you to say on that?"
"Well Your Honor may I inquire of Defendants as to whether they took any steps to have any of this highly disturbing material removed from the public eye.... after all  if it's not true it is kind of unflattering if not outright defamatory.... I think the Jury is entitled to see what Triumph didn't contest."

Don't look now but it happened again, on a pristine 13K miles bike.
Movie upload issues, wait for it.


Anonymous said...

Export the Factory making Triumph motor bike to India, like Harley did!

Christopher King said...

The Court has Jurisdiction over Triumph pursuant to the Hague Convention and general principles of fair play

Kucik v. Yamaha Motor Corp., 72 U.C.C. Rep. Serv. 2d (Callaghan) 637

As already mentioned, neither party has attempted to analyze the issue of personal jurisdiction. However, the facts, meager as they are, appear to support a conclusion that Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. would be subject to the jurisdiction of this Court.
5 The Hague Convention is a multilateral treaty which was enacted for the purpose of creating a simple and expeditious procedure for service of process on foreign litigants in an effort to encourage judicial assistance and cooperation in international litigation.

Note that Plaintiff Kucik lost because he had no evidence, circumstantial or not, that his motorcycle contained bad exhaust valves that caused his power to dip at he approached a jump at WOT. But see FoMoCo v. Reed:

The Plaintiff offers no evidence that the valves on the Plaintiff's motorcycle contained a defect. Any inference that the trier of fact could draw that the intake valves were defective merely because the Plaintiff lost power while operating the motorcycle at maximum RPMs is pure speculation. The Plaintiff, aware that there is no direct evidence of a defect, relies on Ford Motor Co. v. Reed, 689 N.E.2d 751, 755 (Ind. Ct. App. 1997), to assert that an expert can prove circumstantially that a specific defect caused [*24] a plaintiff's harm. In Reed, the court allowed a product liability claim to go forward because a fire occurring inside the console of a car was circumstantial evidence that there was a defect.

From Reed:
Unlike the cases Ford cites, the Reeds all but eliminate every possibility but a defect in the console. They only owned the car for a five-month [**12] period and the testimony revealed that the fire occurred in an area of the car to which they did not have access -- the console. Absent some indication of an extraneous cause, the fact that there was a fire is also circumstantial evidence that there was a defect. This, combined with the fact that Mang indicated that the cause of the fire was an electrical defect within the center console, is enough for the jury to conclude that some defect in the console caused the fire. It is not fatal to the Reeds' claim that the expert could not, with precision, point to which wire had shorted or otherwise generated such heat or to cause the flames and why it had done so. The trial court correctly denied Ford's Motion for Judgment on the Evidence in this respect.

This case is much more analogous to Reed because the shattered engines that keep occurring stand in the same shoes as the console fire. The engine in Plaintiff’s motorcycle has never been apart – Plaintiff stopped short of removing the side cover just in case that fact must be proved. And unlike Reed, Plaintiff King has maintained the evidence in his exclusive possession and control. In fact it is sitting in his driveway at this very moment. Plaintiff told Triumph representative Peter Carleo that we would get some post-it notes to put under the tyres so it could at least serve as a paperweight.