Harley-Davidson is recalling 66,421 Touring and CVO Touring motorcycles from the 2014 model year because their front wheels can lock up without warning.
The motor company says the front brake line can get pinched between the fuel tank and the frame which could cause front brake fluid pressure to increase, increasing the risk that the front wheel could lock up while riding. Motorcycles with anti-lock brakes built between July 1, 2013, and May 7, 2014, are included in the recall.
NHTSA Campaign Number: 14V-319
SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC
Potential Number of Units Affected: 66,421
Harley-Davidson Motor Company is recalling certain model year 2014 ABS-equipped Touring and CVO Touring motorcycles, models FLHTK, FLHTKSE, FLHTKSHRINE, FLHTCU, FLHTCUTC, FLHTP, FLHX, FLHXS, FLHXSHRINE, FLHR, FLHRC, FLHP, and FLHRSE, manufactured July 1, 2013, through May 7, 2014. The affected motorcycles may have been assembled with the front brake line positioned so that it can be pinched between the fuel tank and frame causing the front brake fluid pressure to increase.
A pinched brake line will increase the front brake fluid pressure, possibly resulting in a front wheel lock-up, increasing the risk of a crash.
Harley-Davidson will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the motorcycles for brake line damage and replace the damaged lines as necessary. Dealers will also install one or two cable straps to properly prevent the line from being pinched in the future, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in July 2014. Owners may contact Harley-Davidson customer service at 1-800-258-2464.
The chronology of events leading up to the recall: Harley began an investigation on September 11, 2013 after it was “advised of a pinched brake line under the rear fuel tank mounting bracket of a police motorcycle being set up for service.”
On October 8, 2013, H-D determined that “six warranty claims/consumer contacts” were potentially linked to the brake line issue. Among those six incidents were “one crash with no injuries.”
Within a week corrective action was taken on the final assembly line at the York facility, as on October 14 a cable strap was added to retain the brake lines from being pinched under the aforementioned fuel tank mounting bracket. H-D reports it then closed its investigation on November 11, 2013.
However, the investigation was reopened on May 7, 2014 when the York Final Vehicle Audit “reported a Touring bike with a brake line pinched in a different location, between the fuel tank and the frame several inches forward of the rear fuel tank mounting bracket.”
Harley-Davidson added another cable strap to the production process addressing the issue at the new suspect location. The company subsequently reanalyzed its warranty data on May 12, reporting “a cumulative total of 39 warranty claims potentially related to this issue, four of which reported crashes (with one reported minor injury).” On May 20, it determined another “customer complaint involving a reported crash with minor injuries” was related to the front brake line issue.
In total the company knows of five crashes and two minor injuries related to the defect.
Photo courtesy of H-D and NHTSA.
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