Bicycle component maker Shimano has issued a recall for some brake cables sold for road bicycles in North America. Shimano says the end of the cable could detach from the cable during braking, causing the obvious dire consequences.
Interestingly, Euro bicycle riders have had a head start on this recall, which was issued there on December 1, 2004.
Back in 1999, the US government slapped Shimano's hand for being too slow to pull the trigger on a product recall. It received a $150,000 penalty from the CPSC for delays in notifying the safety agency about faulty bicycle cranks. Apparently Shimano had begun receiving reports about injuries from broken bicycle cranks in June 1995, but didn't report the problem until July 1997. In accepting the penalty, Shimano did not admit to any liability or wrongdoing.
In the latest recall, the Shimano brake cables were sold through distributorships and dealers as after market parts for adult bicycles with drop handlebars. That means consumers purchased them over the counter or had them installed as repairs at a bike shop.
The cables were produced in Osaka, Japan, between April 2003 and March 2004.
Shimano, in conjunction with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, recommends riders take their road bicycles to bike shops if they suspect they've had the faulty cables installed. The Shimano web site shows how to verify whether the cable is safe or not.