Harley-Davidson Motor Co. is recalling 66,421 of the 2014 anti-lock braking system-equipped Touring and CVO Touring motorcycles that may have been assembled with a brake-line defect that can cause the front wheels to lock up. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in a letter to Harley-Davidson, acknowledged the company’s initiation of a safety recall for models made between July 2013 and May 7. The motorcycles may have been made with the front brake line positioned so that it can be pinched between the fuel tank and frame, which can cause front brake fluid pressure to increase, according to the NHTSA. NHTSA detailed in its recall acknowledgement:
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.
Harley-Davidson said its recall investigation committee was advised in 2013 of a pinched brake line under the rear fuel tank mounting bracket of a police motorcycle that was being set up for service. The recall investigation committee then initiated a probe and analysis of the issue, according to the company’s defect notice. As of Oct. 8, 2013, Harley-Davidson had reported a total of six warranty claims potentially related to the pinched brake line, including a single crash with no injuries.
The company then added a cable strap to better retain the brake lines so that they could not be pinched under the fuel tank mounting bracket and closed the investigation. In May, the committee reopened its investigation after identifying 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.
To address this issue in production, Harley-Davidson added another cable strap to further restrain the brake lines in this newly discovered area. There have been 39 warranty claims potentially related to this issue, four of which reported crashes (with one reported minor injury), according to the company.
In June, upon review of the recall committee’s investigation, the company’s executive management made the determination to issue a safety-related recall. The company said that “If this condition remains undetected, it could cause front brake fluid pressure to increase while riding, possibly resulting in a front wheel lock-up.” Harley-Davidson says it initiated this recall to correct this condition in the affected motorcycles.
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