Harley-Davidson, the legendary American motorcycle manufacturer, has issued a recall for more than 65,000 of its Softail models due to a potentially faulty part that could increase the risk of a crash. The recall affects all 2018-2023 Softail models, including the FLDE, FLHC, FLHCS Anniversary, FXLRS, FXLRST, and FXRST. The company said that there is a possibility that a fastener that secures the rear shock absorber to the frame may break, causing damage to the rear tire and a loss of tire pressure. This could lead to a loss of vehicle control and a crash.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Harley-Davidson has received 13 reports of the fastener breaking, resulting in four crashes and two injuries. The company estimates that about 1% of the recalled motorcycles have the defect. The recall covers 65,178 motorcycles in the U.S. and 8,000 motorcycles in other countries.
Harley-Davidson said that it will notify owners of the affected motorcycles by mail by September 5, 2023. Owners can bring their motorcycles to authorized Harley-Davidson dealerships where they will replace the shock absorber fastener free of charge. Owners can also check if their motorcycles are part of the recall by entering their vehicle identification number (VIN) on Harley-Davidson's website or by calling Harley-Davidson customer service at 1-800-258-2464. The recall number is 0181. Related Articles: 2024 Harley Davidson Street Glide: A Glimpse Into The Future
The recall is a setback for Harley-Davidson, which has been struggling to boost its sales and profits in recent years. The company has faced stiff competition from other motorcycle brands, such as Indian, Honda, and BMW, as well as changing consumer preferences and demographic shifts. The company has also been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which disrupted its production and supply chain and reduced consumer demand.
To cope with these challenges, Harley-Davidson has launched a new strategy called "The Hardwire", which aims to focus on its core markets and products, streamline its operations and costs, invest in innovation and technology, and expand its customer base and loyalty. The company has also introduced new models and variants, such as the Pan America adventure bike, the Sportster S cruiser, and the LiveWire electric bike.
The recall of the Softail models is a blow to this strategy, as the Softail line is one of Harley-Davidson's most popular and profitable segments. The Softail models are designed to offer a classic Harley-Davidson look with modern features and performance. The models feature a hidden rear suspension system that gives them a hardtail appearance but a smooth ride. The models also have a Milwaukee-Eight engine that delivers more power and torque than previous engines. The models have a starting price range of $15,999 to $21,999.
The recall also raises questions about Harley-Davidson's quality control and safety standards. The company has faced several recalls in the past for various issues, such as faulty clutches, brakes, fuel tanks, oil pumps, and ignition switches. In 2018, Harley-Davidson agreed to pay $12 million to settle a lawsuit with the U.S. government over allegations that it sold motorcycles that did not meet emission standards.
Harley-Davidson said that it is committed to providing safe and reliable products to its customers and that it is working closely with its dealers and suppliers to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. The company also said that it is not aware of any accidents or injuries related to the recall outside of the U.S.
Harley-Davidson is one of the most iconic and revered motorcycle brands in the world. It has a loyal fan base and a rich history that spans over a century. However, the company also faces many challenges and uncertainties in the current market environment. The recall of the Softail models is a reminder of the need for constant vigilance and improvement in order to maintain its reputation and competitiveness.
How does this recall affect Harley-Davidson's customers?
The recall of the Softail models affects Harley-Davidson's customers in several ways:
It poses a safety risk for those who own or ride the affected motorcycles. They may experience a sudden loss of tire pressure or vehicle control while riding at high speeds or on rough roads.
It causes inconvenience for those who have to take their motorcycles to the dealerships for inspection and repair. They may have to wait for long periods or arrange alternative transportation while their motorcycles are being fixed.
It damages their trust and confidence in Harley-Davidson's products and services. They may feel disappointed or betrayed by the company that they have supported for years.
It reduces their satisfaction and enjoyment with their motorcycles. They may feel less proud or happy with their bikes that have a potential defect.
Harley-Davidson's customers are the backbone of its business and brand. They are loyal, passionate, and enthusiastic about their motorcycles. They deserve to have the best quality and safety standards from Harley-Davidson. The recall of the Softail models is a serious issue that affects their relationship with Harley-Davidson. Harley-Davidson needs to address this issue promptly and effectively to restore its customers' faith and loyalty.