Potentially Deadly Defect Forces Harley-Davidson to Recall Thousands of Motorcycles

harleyAccording to a Friday statement issued by the U.S. National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, Harley-Davidson Inc is now recalling over 4,000 motorcycles owing to an ignition switch problem that causes bikes to stall and, in many cases, crash.

Harley-Davidson said that it is recalling over 4,500 of its 2014 FXDL Dyna Low Rider motorcycles from around the globe. Basically, engine vibrations can cause the ignition switch to change from “run” to “accessory” which effectively stalls the cycle. Although this is unlikely to be a problem with a standard bike, it’s a risk for any motorcycle that has been modified to rev higher than 5,600 RPMs, as this causes excessive engine mount bracket vibration.

The recall comes at a troubling time for the motorcycle company — it’s the second largest Harley-Davidson recall of the summer, and this is typically the season the company reaches its annual peak in sales.

As a result, Harley-Davidson pared down its annual forecast for motorcycle sales, saying that it had been experiencing both weak U.S. retail sales and issues with getting newer bikes into various dealer showrooms. The company has recently released its first electric bike, which will hopefully help to stimulate future sales.

The ignition switch problem has, so far, not been linked to any crashes, so the move is preventative in nature. Harley-Davidson says that the recall is voluntary and independent on their part, and is not related to the NHSTSA’s investigation of ignition switch problems in the auto industry. Hopefully, the motorcycle industry can avoid the problems and associated lawsuits that auto makers General Motors and Crystler have had to deal with.

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