Recall: 175,000 Harley-Davidson motorcycles for failing brakes

  • Patrick McMahon | & Cox Media Group National Content Desk
4:50 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018 Business

Less than a year after another large recall, and amidst disappointing earnings reports, a depressed sales forecast, and the consolidation of their Kansas City and York manufacturing facilities, Harley-Davidson announced a new recall of approximately 175,000 motorcycles for malfunctioning and failing brakes.

Harley-Davidson recalls 175K motorcycles due to malfunctioning brakes

The new recall (Harley-Davidson recall number 0171) affects every Touring, CVO Touring, and VSRC motorcycle built in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 with antilock brakes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That includes over 30 Harley-Davidson models in total, including police models:

According to the recall, “deposits” can form “on components within the brake system if the DOT 4 brake fluid is not replaced for a prolonged period of time beyond the two-year maintenance schedule.” If a motorcycle’s front or rear brake pedal feels “hard” (or cannot be activated at all) at startup or after an ABS event, it may already be affected by deposits in the bike’s antilock braking system.

Over 40 complaints — including three crashes and two injuries — gave cause to the NHTSA to pressure Harley-Davidson to declare a national recall. The agency had been investigating complaints about the problem since summer 2016.

Harley-Davidson dealers will flush the brakes of every motorcycle covered by the recall and replace the fluid with Platinum Label DOT 4 brake fluid, according to the recall, at no cost to the owner. Recalls are scheduled to begin Feb. 12; owners are urged to contact Harley-Davidson customer service with questions.