It seems like anything on four wheels has been subject to recall in recent months. Now, you can make that two. The latest manufacturer to issue a safety-related callback is Harley-Davidson.
The Wisconsin-based motorcycle manufacturer is warning that a brake defect on some of its latest models can cause the front wheels to lock up without warning. A total of 66,421 of its 2014 Touring and CVO Touring bikes are covered by the recall.
The defect involves motorcycles equipped with anti-lock brakes that were produced between July 1, 2013 and May 7 of this year. Harley has records of five crashes, with two injuries, linked to the problem.
The problem involves a front brake line that can become pinched between the bikes’ fuel tank and frame, causing a build-up of pressure that suddenly can result in a lock-up.
(Honda adds another 1 million vehicles to airbag recall. Click Here for the latest.)
The timing of the recall perhaps couldn’t have been worse, coming at the height of the summer riding season.
“While there’s plenty of press on car, truck or SUV recalls, little is mentioned about recalls on motorcycles,” notes Motorcyclistonline magazine.
In fact, there have been a number of bike recalls in recent years, including a service action announced by BMW last January covering 51,000 motorcycles produced between 2005 and 2011 due to a fuel leak problem.
Because of the relatively modest number of motorcycles sold in the U.S. each year, at least compared to automobiles, many bike recalls are small are fly under the radar, such as the one Suzuki announced earlier this month covering just 103 of its V-Strom 650 model due to a chain problem.
Automakers have been rapidly ramping up recalls this year; by June 30, over 40 million vehicles had been targeted, beating the 34.1 million record set back in 2004. And close to 2 million more have been targeted since the beginning of this month. While General Motors has been responsible for roughly half the total, virtually every manufacturer has had at least one service action in 2014.
(Automakers obliterate previous recall record – in just six months. Click Here for the story.)
Industry analysts suggest the increase is due to several factors. Widespread sharing of components, such as airbag modules, can result in large numbers of recalls – by a number of different makers – if a defect is discovered. Meanwhile, the increased attention by the media has triggered not only a crackdown by regulators but also an apparent shift in industry attitude. Where some problems in the past might have been ignored or downplayed, perhaps handled on a one-by-one basis when a consumer complained, manufacturers have become quicker to simply order an across-the-board recall.
Whether that trend is now going to impact the motorcycle industry, as well, remains to be seen.
(GM recall blitz may finally be winding down. Click Here for the latest on this story.)
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