Harley-Davison Recall Issued Over Defective Clutch in 20,000 Motorcycles
After receiving dozens of reports involving clutch failure with Harley-Davidson motorcycles, including several crashes that resulted in injuries, a recall has been issued for almost 20,000 bikes from the 2014 model year.
The Harley Davidson recall was announced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on December 6, following at least 171 reports of clutch problems, including eight that reportedly caused drivers to crash their motorcycle due to decreased function of the brakes.
According to investigators, the 2014 Harley-Davidson motorcycles may have been assembled with a clutch master cylinder that contains a casting defect, allowing air to enter into the clutch system. The bikes may have also been assembled with the incorrect clutch release plate that would not allow the clutch to disengage as intended. Both possible defects increase the risk of the brake system malfunctioning or not disengaging at all, posing a crash risk to the drivers.
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The Harley Davidson clutch recall impacts the following 2014 models manufactured between May 3, 2013 and October 14, 2013; H-D/FLHRSE, H-D/FLHTCU, H-D/FLHTK, H-D/FLHTKSE, H-D/FLHTP, H-D/FLHX, H-D/FLHXS, H-D/TRIKE.
Harley Davidson became aware of the issue after receiving notice from the Harley Davidson Recall Investigation Committee (RIC), which was notified by the Advanced Manufacturing Group, that the clutch system may contain defects that would put drivers at an accident risk. The RIC launched an investigation in September and discovered 59 customer complaints and/or warranty claims had been submitted all relating to a malfunctioning clutch. RIC conducted a follow up search of customer complaints in October that indicated the number of faulty clutch reports had nearly tripled reaching 171.
On October 16, Harley Davidson’s executive management group concluded that a substantial safety related defect exists and declared a recall to remedy the issue. Harley Davidson began notifying all owners in late October 2013, with a recall notification letter describing how to resolve the issue.
Harley Davidson informed customers in the notification letter that the dealers will rebuild the clutch master cylinder system and install the proper clutch release plate free of charge. Customers with question may contact Harley Davidson at 1-800-258-2464 and refer the recall number “0153”. Customers may also contact the NHTSA at 1-888-327-4236 or visit them online at www.safecar.com for further complications or concerns.
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