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Bad Attitude – Draftmaster

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Draftmaster Hitch Rack that Fell While Driving at 60MPH
This is the way bike and rack rode down the highway

I spent some hard years as a Product Service Manager and a Quality Control Manager. During those years I faced into several tough recalls. I was lucky, I worked with a Corporate Lawyer who agreed with doing the “Right Thing” not trying to find legal cover and a Management Group that believed in fixing our problems.

That has certainly not been my experience with Draftmaster. They have a serious safety problem with their older racks (see Falling Crane). It may be only a matter of time before a very serious accident happens unless they are very lucky. If and when that happens, they may discover that they can not disclaim all liability for a deficient if older design.

I got the impression that they were well aware of the problem when they called me at 10PM and explained to me why my rack fell while Jeanne was driving down the Spaulding Turnpike.

To my knowledge, they have taken no positive action to contact owners and make them aware of the potential for a very serious accident. I don’t like to think what would have happened if my bike or the rack had hit a car traveling behind Jeanne as she drove down the highway at 60 MPH. Amazingly, when the safety pin worked loose and the rack fell, the rack and bike were dragged down the highway behind the car. The bottom of the rack was seriously abraded and Jeanne’s bike rode along on it’s rear wheel. Yes, the safety straps tore (Draftmaster charged me $40 for replacement the straps) but somehow both rack and bike stayed attached to the car.

The potential is there for something very serious to happen. I certainly hope it does not happen but I am trying to make other owners aware that only subtle wear on the rack can create a very hazardous situation.


Written by Roland

September 13, 2006 at 6:54 am

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