Federal government investigating sudden Harley brake failures

430,000 models from 2008-2011 included

Harley-Davidson headquarters
Harley-Davidson Inc.'s headquarters in Milwaukee.

Last updated on May 21st, 2022 at 12:40 pm

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating the potential for sudden brake failure in 430,000 Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

Harley-Davidson headquarters
Harley-Davidson Inc.’s headquarters in Milwaukee.

The investigation, started earlier this week, centers on motorcycles built between 2008 and 2011 with anti-lock brake systems.

The administration has received 43 complaints with riders reporting a sudden brake system failure occurring without warning. The investigation summary says riders experience no discernible braking effect when applying the front brake hand lever or rear brake foot pedal. The issue usually only occurs in either the front or back breaks, but one report alleged simultaneous loss of both.

There have been a total of three crashes and two people injured, according to the administration. If you are injured in a motorbike accident because of someone else’s negligence, then you should hire a motorcycle accident lawyer fresno for legal assistance.

Milwaukee-based Harley has a two year brake replacement interval, according to the investigation summary. If riders go past that interval, the older fluid can become contaminated with moisture, potentially causing corrosion and eventually brake failure.

“While it may be true that the complainants failed to adhere to Harley Davidson’s two year brake fluid service interval requirement, the consequent sudden and complete loss of brake(s), without warning, is a concern,” the NHTSA summary says.

Harley spokeswoman Maripat Blankenheim said the company was aware of the investigation and cooperating with the NHTSA.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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