Harley-Davidson Fuel Guage Problems Result in Recall for Breakout Models
Harley-Davidson has initiated a recall for certain Breakout motorcycles from the 2013 and 2014 model years, after receiving several dozen reports that suggest the fuel gauge may provide inaccurate levels, which may cause the motorcycle to run out of fuel suddenly during use, with no prior indication.
The Harley-Davidson recall (PDF) was announced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on April 24, impacting more than 9,000 FXSB and FXSBSE Breakout motorcycles.
The manufacturer indicates that at least 10 customer warranty claims have been submitted after the motorcycles ran out of fuel during use without the low fuel level light illuminating, and an additional 17 reports have been received involving general fuel level indication inaccuracy. To date, Harley-Davidson is not aware of any accidents or injuries caused by the issue.
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The fuel gauge problems were first noted in January, when a Harley-Davidson engineer reported that a test bike unexpectedly ran out of fuel while it was being operated to the Recall Investigation Committee (RIC). During the investigation, Harley Davidson continued to receive warranty claims related to fuel gauge levels reading inaccurately.
The RIC determined the fuel gauge levels were reading inaccurately due to a suspension difference between various Breakout Softail models. The analysis indicated the fuel tank on the newer models are pitched forward approximately 3 degrees more than old models, reducing the actual volume of fuel available when the float arm reaches the level to illuminate the “Low Fuel Warning” lamp.
After determining the fuel level float indicator was not to scale and receiving 27 fuel gauge level complaints from customers, Harley-Davidson’s RIC concluded a safety defect does exist and a recall was necessary.
The recall includes 2013 through 2014 Harley Davidson FXSB models and 2013 through 2014 FXSBSE models manufactured from March 20, 2012 through March 10, 2014.
Harley-Davidson notified dealers of the problem and solution on April 7, and plans to notify owners by the end of April with instructions to schedule a free repair appointment at a Harley-Davidson dealer where they will update the software to recalibrate the fuel level sensor signal. Customers with questions may contact Harley-Davidson at 1-800-258-2464.
WilliamNovember 24, 2023 at 7:42 am
I have a 2022 Breakout which also has a faulty fuel guage. The fuel guage will drop to half a tank within the first 60-70kms on the trip meter after filling. For a $40000 motorcycle this is unacceptable. Also this problem has apparently been around since the first Breakouts with a recall only on the 2013-2014 models. Harley Davidson needs to redesign this unit for all of the Breakout models right [Show More]I have a 2022 Breakout which also has a faulty fuel guage. The fuel guage will drop to half a tank within the first 60-70kms on the trip meter after filling. For a $40000 motorcycle this is unacceptable. Also this problem has apparently been around since the first Breakouts with a recall only on the 2013-2014 models. Harley Davidson needs to redesign this unit for all of the Breakout models right up to the 2023 model and issue a recall to fix them.
RichardOctober 23, 2022 at 4:35 pm
I have a 2022 sport glide with fuel gauge problems. My dealership says this is an inherent problem with soft tail bikes. They have told me that the solid bars don't light because it due to software control strategy in the motorbike as result of turning off the engine before refuelling. Also from riding style what should they do under the warranty to fix this problem.
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