Harley-Davidson recalling around 1,000 LiveWire motorcycles

Harely-Davidson 2020 Model Year Livewire
The 2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire (PRNewsfoto/Harley-Davidson Motor Company

Last updated on October 23rd, 2020 at 02:01 pm

Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson Inc. is recalling around 1,000 of its 2020 LiveWIre motorcycles after discovering a software issue.

The company discovered that the electric motorcycles on-board charging system might shut down without providing the rider with any notice. In some cases, the bike cannot be restarted or may shut down again shortly after restarting.

Harley was first notified of two LiveWires with unexpected loss of propulsion on April 20. Another four instances of bikes losing power were identified while the issues were investigated this summer.

None of the six incidents involved a crash or injuries, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documents.

“Leading in the electrification of motorcycles requires agility and a clear commitment to quality and integrity, and Harley-Davidson continues to demonstrate both. This safety recall is one example of how we deploy rigorous quality protocols and face challenges directly,” the company said in a letter to LiveWire dealers.

LiveWire owners can take their motorcycles to a Harley dealer for a software update to fix the problem.

The recall covers models built between March 18, 2019 and August 20, 2020, although the NHTSA safety recall report says the production dates were between Sept. 23, 2019 and March 16 of this year.

LiveWire is the result of nearly a decade of development work for Harley-Davidson to launch into the electric motorcycle space. The company positioned the model as a premium product with a starting price slightly less than $30,000.

The initial launch of the bike was complicated last fall when the company discovered a “non-standard condition” during final quality check and temporarily stopped production. The Wall Street Journal at the time reported the issue was related to the bike’s charging equipment.

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Arthur Thomas
Arthur covers manufacturing for 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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