Harley-Davidson Inc. is recalling about 308,000 motorcycles, 251,000 of which in the United States. The reason for the recall is a defective switch that can cause brake lights failure and even rear brakes failure. In documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the company explains that failure of the switches comes from their overexposure to the heat of the exhaust system. According to those documents, the exhaust heat can also cause fluid leaks and eventual loss of rear brakes.
The brake problem affects motorcycles built between June 6, 2008 and Sept. 16, 2011. The affected motorcycle models are 2009-2012 Touring, CVO Touring and Trike. If you are one of the owners, Harley will notify you of the recall and arrange a dealer to install non-defective, free brake light switch.
The problem with the brakes was noticed in June 2010 with reports of a Trike that lost its rear brakes and a motorcycle crash in Louisiana But since July 2010, there haven’t been any reports of the problem. The recall will cost $10 million to $12 million—a big expense for the fourth quarter of 2011.