The iconic American cruiser has come under the scanner as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched an investigation against the motorcycle manufacturer in the United States of America. The investigation was instigated after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration received 43 complaints about brakes failure. As many as 430,000 motorcycles, produced between 2008 and 2011, are under investigation. The brake failures have reportedly resulted in three crashes and two injuries.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in a statement, “Riders report sudden brake system failure occurring without warning. Minimal to no deflection is noted when applying either the front brake hand lever or rear brake foot pedal with no discernible braking effect. Commonly, only one braking channel (front or rear) is reportedly affected although one report alleging simultaneous loss of both (resulting in a low speed crash into a garage door) has been received.”
However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also added that owners are either unaware of or ignore Harley-Davidson’s directive to change the brake fluid every two years. The old fluid becomes contaminated by moisture and allegedly corrodes the ABS actuator valves, resulting in the brakes failure to respond.
The report added, “Harley Davidson has a two year brake fluid replacement interval which owners are either unaware of or ignore. The “old” fluid, which is hygroscopic, becomes contaminated by moisture and allegedly corrodes the ABS actuator valves. The valves then fail to cycle and the affected brake calipers are no longer actuated when riders apply the brake(s). While it may be true that the complainants failed to adhere to Harley Davidson’s 2 year brake fluid service interval requirement, the consequent sudden and complete loss of brake(s), without warning, is a concern.”