It is already a record year for automotive recalls - and perhaps in a sign of solidarity, the iconic Harley-Davidson motorcycle maker has jumped on the recall bandwagon as well,
The Milwaukee-based maker of the quintessential American motorcycle is issuing a voluntary recall of 84,590 Touring and CVO Touring models sold worldwide, including 66,421 shipped in the U.S., due to the possibility that the front wheels could lock up without warning. Both models are equipped with anti-lock brakes (ABS).
The recall affects all of these models made between July 1, 2013 and May 7, 2014. The exact model numbers included in the recall are FLHTK, FLHTKSE, FLHTKSHRINE, FLHTCU, FLHTCUTC, FLHTP, FLHX, FLHXSHRINE, FLHR, FLHRC, FLHP and FLHRSE.
The company says the front brake line could find itself pinched between the fuel tank and the frame. Subsequently, the front wheel could seize up while in motion, due to a sudden increase in brake fluid pressure. The defect may have occurred during manufacture, or resulting from later service activity.
Harley-Davidson has already attributed five accidents and two minor injuries to the problem. The company was alerted to the issue through warranty claims.
The company is in the process of notifying owners, and instructing dealers to replace the brake lines and attach straps to fix them in place, at no charge to the customer. The work will be performed on all purchased bikes and those still on dealer lots.
Just recently, in April, the company also issued a voluntary recall for over 18,000 of its 2013-2014 Breakout and CVO Breakout models (over 9,000 of those are in the U.S.) for a fuel gauge problem. The defect makes it possible for the motorcycle to run out of fuel while the gauge still shows gas remaining. The problem also occurs before the low fuel warning light comes on.
"The way we became aware of this was on a test vehicle. One of our current product engineers was on a test bike when it ran out of fuel while it was being tested," said Maripat Blankenheim, Harley-Davidson's Director of External Communications.
The issue was resolved by a software update that recalibrated the fuel level sensor signal.
In October 2013, the company also recalled over 25,185 2014 Touring motorcycles over a faulty hydraulic clutch system. In case of failure, the clutch will not disengage properly, subjecting its rider to an inability to slow or stop the motorcycle, significantly increasing the risk of an accident. Harley-Davidson had issued a "Do Not Ride" edict to customers and dealers until the problem was detected and fixed on individual bikes.