Specialized Epic Recall: Not old news

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Following our post yesterday on the Specialized Epic and Era recall notice from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, we received communications that the recall was “old news.” We did not, er, recall any past recall notice, so we decided to pursue the matter.

The hotline number Specialized provides did not answer.

There’s nothing about a recall on the Specialized Web site. There is, however, a .pdf about a “stop sale notice” affecting Epic and Era bikes, dated Nov. 23, 2009. There is nothing to link the notice with the recall, however, either on the Specialized site or in the CPSC announcement.

A friend forwarded an e-mail from an executive at Gregg’s Cycles in (the Seattle suburb of) Bellevue — a big Specialized dealer — noting that Specialized had notified dealers last November that the bikes should not be sold. (The flaw involves a tab on the seat stay which could fail and potentially throw the “Brain” shock cartridge into the wheel.)

We went to Gregg’s Greenlake Cycle and asked around. No one had heard of any recall notice, although one of the sales people did remember the Specialized advisory last fall. We talked to three Gregg’s sales people in all, and to a person they said any owner of any Specialized bike potentially affected by the recall notice should immediately stop riding and return the bike to Gregg’s for inspection. You do not have to have purchased the bike from Gregg’s, they will take care of you all the same.

A Web search turned up no past recall notice on Epic and Era. It did, however, confirm that Specialized had sent out a “stop sale” notice to dealers. BikeRadar posted a detailed story at the time, and MTBR Forums had a discussion as well. But the general public was never informed of the potential problem.

One post in particular on MTBR, a Q&A, attempted to clarify the situation:

Is this a recall?
This is not a recall at this moment. However, we are in contact with the CPSC and will follow all of their requests and protocols. We will keep you apprised as we get direction from the CPSC.

There you have it: “Not a recall” back then.

So the situation as best we can determine is this:

The recall is new. Some 1,350 bikes are affected. Presumably these are bikes that got out into the marketplace despite the stop-sale notification (or perhaps the number includes bikes sold as well as those examined before sale).

Don’t ride your Specialized 2010 without ascertaining if it’s part of the recall. Contact your nearest Specialized dealer for instructions.

We like Specialized (we have friends who work for the company) and admire its customer service. But in this case we feel it has dropped the public-relations ball. This may be intentional: No company, whether it’s Toyota or Apple or whomever, likes to draw attention to faulty products.

Specialized should be issuing its own bulletin on this situation to clarify any potential misunderstandings, including how many of the bikes made it out into the marketplace. And someone should at least pick up the phone at the “recall hotline.”


Big Specialized Recall of High-End Epics

News Cycle: As the wheel turns …


5 thoughts on “Specialized Epic Recall: Not old news”

  1. You are incorrect, sir.

    “It has come to our attention that the CPSC has issued a Press Release for a recall on 2010 26” Epic and Era models with an alloy seatstay on May 5.

    This press release was issued seven months after the initiation of our recall of these models and Specialized would like to emphasize that this is not a separate issue from the corrective action initiated in November, 2009. It is simply a reminder about the recall to ensure that consumers who have purchased one of the bikes are aware of the issue.

    Recall info has been posted on the Specialized site since November, and all consumers who purchase an affected bike were informed quickly and the seatstays were replaced free of charge.


    We are confident that this recall has been handled swiftly and effectively, with most re-works performed before bikes made it to dealers, and that most in-field bikes have been addressed. If you are currently riding a bike included in the recall list, and you are unsure as to your bikes seatstay rework status, please verify with the Specialized dealer where you purchased your bike.”

  2. Wow, are you off base on this one; you need to do some due diligence before spewing untruths onto the ‘net.

    Given that the pictures on the Spec notice and the recall notice are the same, I think you need to offer a retraction or risk your credibility.

  3. Hey guys, if the recall was done last fall, why did CPSC issue a notice *two days ago*? And why are both Specialized and CPSC urging owners of Epics and Eras to make sure their bikes aren’t part of the recall?

    We’ll keep trying to answer these questions, but in the meantime please be advised that last fall’s “announcement” from Specialized was not publicized at all and was an advisory, not a recall. The CPSC issues official recall notices and did so on May 5, 2010 — not last November.

  4. That I took delivery on in NZ in January of this year.

    Has there been a serial number range released or is it possible to visually determine the differences between ‘faulty’ and ‘fixed’

  5. My contacts have said no serial number range was provided, and it’s best to check with the shop where you bought it or, if that’s not possible, any shop that handles Specialized bikes. Good luck!

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