Harley-Davidson has announced that it is recalling 308,474 motorcycles and trikes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the rear brake switch may be exposed to excessive heat from the exhaust system. If this happens, the rear brake light may fail to illuminate. It's also possible that the rear brake system could leak fluid, causing a brake failure. NHTSA says either condition could lead to an accident. Harley-Davidson will replace the brake light switch free of charge, though it's unclear what will be done to prevent the same condition from reoccurring in the future.

The recall covers 25 different Harley-Davidson models manufactured between 2009 and 2012. Around 250,000 of the motorcycles were sold in the U.S. while the remaining 50,000 were sold elsewhere. Reuters reports that the recall is expected to cost Harley-Davidson between $10 million and $12 million. Hit the jump to see the full recall report, including a full list of affected vehicles.
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Vehicle Make / Model:

Model Year(s):
2009-2012 H-D / FLHP

2009-2011 H-D / FLHPE

2009-2012 H-D / FLHR

2009-2012 H-D / FLHRC

2009-2010 H-D / FLHT

2009-2012 H-D / FLHTC

2009-2012 H-D / FLHTCU

2009 H-D / FLHTCUSE4

2010 H-D / FLHTCUSE5

2011 H-D / FLHTCUSE6

2012 H-D / FLHTCUSE7

2009-2012 H-D / FLHTCUTG

2010-2012 H-D / FLHTK

2009-2012 H-D / FLHTP

2009-2012 H-D / FLHX

2010 H-D / FLHXSE

2011 H-D / FLHXSE2

2012 H-D / FLHXSE3

2011 H-D / FLHXXX

2009 H-D / FLTR

2009 H-D / FLTRSE3

2010-2012 H-D / FLTRU

2011 H-D / FLTRUSE

2010-2012 H-D / FLTRX

2012 H-D / FLTRXSE

Manufacturer: HARLEY-DAVIDSON MOTOR COMPANY

Mfr's Report Date: OCT 19, 2011

NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 11V506000
NHTSA Action Number: N/A

Component: EXTERIOR LIGHTING:BRAKE LIGHTS:SWITCH

Potential Number of Units Affected: 250,757

Summary:
HARLEY-DAVIDSON IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2009-2012 TOURING, CVO TOURING AND TRIKE VEHICLES MANUFACTURED FROM JUNE 6, 2008, THROUGH SEPTEMBER 16, 2011. SEE THE ABOVE LIST FOR THE MODELS INCLUDED IN THE RECALL. THE REAR BRAKE LIGHT SWITCH MAY BE EXPOSED TO EXCESSIVE HEAT FROM THE EXHAUST SYSTEM.

Consequence:
THE EXCESSIVE HEAT MAY CAUSE THE SWITCH TO NOT ACTIVATE THE BRAKE LAMP OR ACTIVATE THE BRAKE LAMP WHEN NO BRAKE IS APPLIED AND/OR CAUSE A BRAKE FLUID LEAK AT THE BRAKE LIGHT SWITCH, AFFECTING REAR BRAKE PERFORMANCE. EITHER CONDITION MAY INCREASE THE RISK OF A CRASH.

Remedy:
HARLEY-DAVIDSON WILL NOTIFY OWNERS, AND DEALERS WILL A INSTALL A REAR BRAKE LIGHT SWITCH KIT, FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN ON OR ABOUT OCTOBER 31, 2011. OWNERS MAY CONTACT HARLEY-DAVIDSON AT 1-414-343-4056.

Notes:
HARLEY-DAVIDSON SAFETY RECALL NUMBER IS 0145. CUSTOMERS OWNERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV .


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  • 110 Comments
      tact32
      • 3 Years Ago
      I love my Harley Davison Heritage softtail classic 2008. But I am concerned as to where the parts are coming from. From derby cover, to point cover, to gas cap, all read " Made in Taiwan " . Harley Davison charges Harley prices for this crap. They need to bring these jobs back to the USA.
        upstategreenie
        • 3 Years Ago
        @tact32
        that is actually pretty good. if it all reads made in china, houston we have a problem. it will have built-in obsolescence, like every other product made in China.
      dinobot666
      • 3 Years Ago
      This should make for an interesting recall, considering that the first thing most Harley owners do is remove the mufflers from the bike, or put an aftermarket kit on to make the bike ear shatteringly loud. What's Harley going to do, reinstall mufflers if they have to modify of change the exhaust system to prevent this overheating of the switch that the bikes are being recalled for? This could be really interesting to say the least.
        Timothy Tibbetts
        • 3 Years Ago
        @dinobot666
        Exactly my concern, I replaced my factory exhaust with Rinehart slip-on, guess I will call and find out :)
      wrascil
      • 3 Years Ago
      well I am not surprised there is yet another defect as I own one with DEFECTIVE ENGINE BLOCK CASTINGS that leaked oil from day 1, (the dealer could / would not find the leak) by the time it was out of warrantee I was doing repairs myself and found the leak myself they not only refused to repair it, they would not even give another set of cases if I did the labor myself. what truly does surprise me will be if they actually repair the DEFECTS for free
      KATHY
      • 3 Years Ago
      I own a Harley 05 softail. Great bike. Loud pipes save lives as the stupid drivers of cars never here our horn when they cut us off. I pay liecense fees just like they do to use the road. How much do any other bike makers give back to their riders or even to charities or the American public. Ask Jerry Lewis how much HONDA or Yamaha has given his kids... Then ask him about Harley Davidson and the millions. Or the rides we put on for all the needy. I have yet to hear of a Honda Ralley or the every 5 year national anv. ralley Harley gives to it's riders and HOW MUCH MONEY WE THE HARLEY RIDER SPEND IN COMMUNITIES WHEN THESE EVENTS GO ON. OH YEA NAME A TIME WITH ALL THE PEOLE THAT ATTEND THESE EVENT S ABOUT ANY TROUBLE. I live in Milwaukee and they employ many here. People thought all Harley riders where Outlaws and Hells Angles till they got to know the families and men amd women who are not that one %. All those crotch rocket riders do is ride up and down a city street. Let them experience the freedom of the open road and across the country. To all you NON RIDERS 4 wheels move the body, 2 wheels moves the soul. Its not a ride it's a Adventure. RIDE FREE RIDE HARD! What product has not had their proplems?
      Angela
      • 3 Years Ago
      I gotta' be honest with you here. I would hate to be the HD employee who had to call a Hell's Angel and make them bring their motorcycyle back....
      GEORGE
      • 3 Years Ago
      The true shame of it is that only some parts are made in USA. I live in York, Pa where they make the fenders and frames but a certain percentage of the bike has to be made in America for it to be labeled "Made in USA". Harleys are "Assembled in USA". I Love Harleys but we need to bring more of the production back in the USA.
      steje1
      • 3 Years Ago
      F'n harley dealers...greedy...I ride...to live...96 glide..ridin since I was 14 and that is over half a century ago. I am posting for this reason...I just read an ad on Craigs List for a guy that is running classes for guys like me. Smart guy...he will teach small groups how to do their own 5,000 mile tune ups that Greedy HD will charge around $500 for. Every city should have a guy like this..I'm going to the class..would rather do the work myself anyway...and here's another cool guy I met. He has a bike shop in Arizona and he will let you rent a space in his shop for $15 and hour and you can use his tools and he will coach you when you want to work on your bike. cool dude...right idea..We need more guys like this with the knowledge to share. I hope some savy mechanics and shop owners read this...it's a win win for all.
        gecarsen
        • 3 Years Ago
        @steje1
        You said it man. F the dealers all they want is your monet. I took my 2011 flhtk to a place near seattle wa. it might have the int. of DHD or something like that. Anyway they were to do the 5k and check my rear break because I was getting a viboration when I went to stop. So I drop it off one morning and to pick it up befor closing that same day, I go pick it up at closing all seems good they say that all work that was to be done was and all is good. so I head out to take her home. I head out onto the highway (they are located close to one maybe 167) and start going throuhgt the gears when I shifted from 4 to 5 and rolled on may RPM,S went higher then hell.(I have had the rev limiter taken out) Anyway my clutch was slipping so that was mess up and when I got home I checked to see if they had check out my rear break . Well they did apsolutly nothing with it for it was still doing the same thing. I called them the next day and was told that they could not get me back in for two weeks,but that it would be fine to keep riding the bike. In the meen time I readjustedthe clutch and it did not slip. Anyway I took it back they tried to say it was my fault because of the oil I was using (royal purple) and not Harley brand. Well they ended up eating a clutch, But you know they never touched my rear break which is leaking, but they claim that there is nothing wrong with it. You know with all this bull from them I will just do all the services myself I done them on my 05 wide glide i can do them on this. P.S. IF YOU DO YOUR OWN SERVICE HARLEY AND IT'S ASS'S WILL TRY AND TELL THAT IT WILL VOID YOUR WARRANTY . WELL THAT I A CROCK OF S**T .IT IS AGAINST THE LAW FOR THEM TO TELL YOU THIS AND THEY WOULD HAVE TO PROVE WITHOUT A DOUGHT THAT YOU CAUSED THE PROBLEM IF YOU HAVE ONE. Don"t get me wrong I LOVE my Harley like steje1 said its the dealers. Thanks DOGONE35
        Gary
        • 3 Years Ago
        @steje1
        Now that gives me an idea what to do in NC. I hear you....
      Tilson Andrews
      • 3 Years Ago
      Harley will kept care of problem, thats why they are the best.
      tcous13974
      • 3 Years Ago
      Harleys are not made here any more they are junk. We only buy or ride the older harleys. New ones are throw aways.
      ridejumpshow
      • 3 Years Ago
      If Harley Davidson made an airplane would YOU fly in it????
        jjhd98
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ridejumpshow
        Sure why-not. Have over 630,000 air-miles racked up flying all over the World and in some craft that would literally scare the ever-living-life out of most people. What's life without adventure? Answer: a seat on the couch watching fake "Reality TV." How sad.............
      topppgunnn
      • 3 Years Ago
      kATHY YOU SAID IT SO GOOD ...ANOTHER LADY RIDER...HOW NICE .. BE SAFE NEVER RIDER FASTER THAN YOUR GAURDING ANGLE CAN FLY!
      jyban
      • 3 Years Ago
      Notwithstanding the negative gunga below,,,HD is an American made product. Perhaps we should consider that when someone goes out bike shopping. Bikes aren't for everyone, but bike owners are fiercely loyal to their brand. For the non-bike owners,,,,leave it alone.
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