Harley Davidson is recalling more than 250,000 bikes and sold in the United States due to problems with a switch that could lead to potential rear brake failure. The recall comes after the company fielded a complaint about brake failure on a Trike model motorcycle in June 2010. The company dispatched investigators to a dealership in the South to investigate whether the same issue was involved in a motorcycle accident in Louisiana.
One person was injured in the southern motorcycle accident, and Harley Davidson has not yet determined whether brake failure on the motorcycle contributed to the cause of the accident. The motorcycle company filed papers regarding the recall with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last month indicating that a switch may be exposed to excessive heat from the exhaust system.
The overheating reportedly can in some cases cause the brake lights to fail, which could cause a dangerous condition for a biker by exposing the rider to a potential rear-end collision.
Harley Davidson says the issue can possibly also result in a potential brake fluid leak, causing rear brake failure, according to the documents filed with the federal government. The issue could lead to serious injuries if a motorcyclist were to be involved in an accident related to the product defect.
Harley Davidson says they have not received any other reports of accidents or injuries related to the brake issue. The problem affects Touring, CVO Touring and Trike motorcycles built between June 6, 2008 and Sept. 16, 2011. Owners of the affected models reportedly will receive notice of the product defect, and Harley dealers are to replace the defective switch free of charge, according to Harley Davidson.
Source: Associated Press, “Harley to recall more than 308,000 motorcycles,” Oct. 24, 2011