U-shaped lock settlement presents three options

Ryan Dionne

For years, warm weather has been synonymous with bikers on campus, which has sometimes led to increases in bike thefts.

One popular safeguard is a Kryptonite lock. But in September, a flaw that allowed them to be opened with a ballpoint pen was found in the tubular-keyed, U-shaped locks.

In December, the company settled a class-action lawsuit with a man in Illinois, but Kryptonite denied all wrongdoing, according to the settlement notice.

Kryptonite was sued Sept. 20 for selling faulty locks, with allegations the locks were more vulnerable to theft, the notice read.

The settlement gives consumers three options, said Joe Alston, a customer service representative for Georgeson Shareholder Communications, the company responsible for the Kryptonite settlement’s customer service.

One option is a free product exchange, he said.

The product exchange is a continuation of the exchange started in September, Alston said.

Owners of Kryptonite U-shaped locks with tubular keys may exchange their locks for nontubularstyle locks for free.

After a consumer contacts the company, Kryptonite sends him or her a postage-paid UPS call tag, according to the notice.

The person has to send the lock and a working key to the company before he or she will receive a new lock, the notice read.

Anne Lukoskie, a childhood education junior, returned her tubular-keyed, U-shaped lock.

“(The new lock) took, like, two weeks to come back,” she said.

Another option the company’s customers have is to keep their Kryptonite U-shaped locks and receive vouchers, Alston said.

According to the settlement notice, proof of purchase must be provided to receive a voucher.

Each voucher has “a face value of $10,” which can be used “toward the purchase of any Kryptonite product, redeemable for a period of one year from the date of issuance,” the settlement notice reads.

Up to $40 in vouchers can be used for one Kryptonite purchase, Alston said.

People who have had their bikes stolen because of faulty Kryptonite U-shaped locks can be reimbursed for amounts between $250 and $3,000, according to the notice.

To make such a claim, people need to include proof of purchase for the lock and stolen bike, proof the lock was responsible for the theft, a copy of the police report and a number of other criteria, the settlement notice reports.

Many students don’t file a police report, though, said Steve Johnson, deputy police chief for the University Police Department.

The best way to recover a stolen bike is to report it, and the best way to prevent a theft is to report suspicious activity, Johnson said.

“It’s kinda the start of our bike season,” he said. “People go shopping when there’s stuff to shop for, and the bikes will be out now, so there’s stuff to shop for.”

According to the Kryptonite settlement notice, only people who lawfully acquired a Kryptonite U-shaped lock between Sept. 20, 1998, and Sept. 20, 2004, can make claims.

The claims will not be processed until an official decision is made April 21, Alston said.