Cervélo does the right thing with Wolf SL Fork recall

Cervelo recalls Tru-Temper Wolf SL fork

Last night I received notification through Competitive Cyclist that the Wolf SL fork on my Cervélo SLC-SL was being recalled. Though I've not experienced any problem with the bike or the fork, I removed the fork immediately and will be sending it off to Competitive later today per their instructions. I came across this enlightening explanation from Gerard Vroomen posted in the Cervélo forums. Some one should have told True Temper to read the definitive Tylenol Case Study again.

Gerard's comments:

  1. The structural fork design and the manufacturing is done by TrueTemper Sports, not by us.
  2. We flagged the issue, they did not consider it a problem.
  3. We disagreed, and went to work to do something about it as soon as possible. Unfortunately, within CPSC rules, that's not very fast. And ignoring the CPSC rules is just not an option, it won't get anything accomplished in the end either.
  4. To recall a product, you have to show the CPSC that the replacement doesn't have the same issue. With the manufacturer True Temper saying the current fork has no issue, this is a big problem. So Cervelo was forced to figure out what the problem was on a fork we did not design, and we did not even get the lay-up schedules as True Temper considered them proprietary. Then we had to replicate that failure in the lab, then proof a replacement fork would not have the same problem.
  5. This is a tall order if you are the fork designer and maker, it becomes doubly difficult if you are not, and if you don't get support from the fork maker because they don't see a problem.
  6. We did this as fast as we could, as our priority was to get this recall started, but unfortunately the laws in the US are such that you have to jump through these hoops first before you can do anything, and you also can't really do a recall elsewhere before that.
  7. Once there is a problem, the CPSC rules kick in. If you don't like the fact that something takes a long time, or that a company (Cervelo) is not allowed to say anything about a product (a True Temper fork) from another manufacturer, I fully understand that. This upsets me to no end as well, but those are the laws. My wife, my brother and I (on one of my two bikes) still ride on a Wolf SL fork to this day as well, so I know how people feel. Those are the rules, I honestly suggest you contact your lawmakers and get these rules changed.

Finally, just like you I am disappointed. I am mostly disappointed about two things. First, that things can't go faster under the rules, and second that after we specifically chose a US company for these forks because we thought they would have the same views as us, we found that they could not be convinced to see a problem where we felt there was one. But I am also proud of two things. First of all of our engineers who were able to replicate this issue in the lab so we could finally commence the recall, as this was like finding a needle in a hay stack. So for them to figure out under what circumstances exactly this occurs (not straightforward at all) was amazing. And I am proud that we are doing a multi-million dollar recall on something that is really firstly somebody else's responsiblity. I'm proud that Phil agreed immediately without blinking when I suggested that if TrueTemper didn't want to do the recall, we should.

That's just my 2 cents, Gerard Cervélo SA

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