In October 2023, Harley-Davidson announced a voluntary safety recall for some of its 2023 CVO Road Glide and CVO Street Glide models, which are among its top-of-the-line offerings. The recall affects 2,212 units of these models that were made early in their production cycle. The reason for the recall is a faulty lower frame rail clamp that may not secure the rear brake line properly, leading to possible brake fluid leakage and loss of rear braking ability. In this article, we will explore what caused this problem, how Harley-Davidson addressed it, and what it means for the customers and the company.
What are the CVO Models?
The CVO Road Glide and CVO Street Glide are part of Harley-Davidson's Custom Vehicle Operations (CVO) program, which produces limited-edition motorcycles with enhanced features and customization options. The CVO models are designed for riders who want the best of everything that Harley-Davidson has to offer.
The 2023 CVO Road Glide and CVO Street Glide feature a Milwaukee-Eight 117 engine that delivers 125 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque, a Boom! Box GTS infotainment system with wireless headset interface module, a Rockford Fosgate Stage II audio system with four bi-amped speakers and two external saddlebag woofers, heated grips and seats, adaptive LED headlights and taillights, custom paint schemes, and many more. The CVO Road Glide has a distinctive shark-nose fairing that provides aerodynamic stability and wind protection, while the CVO Street Glide has a batwing fairing that gives it a sleeker look.
The CVO models are not cheap; they have a starting price of $40,999 for the CVO Road Glide and $38,999 for the CVO Street Glide. They are also not easy to get; only 4,000 units of each model were planned to be produced for 2023.
The Production Numbers of the CVO Models
According to Harley-Davidson's report to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), they manufactured 2,212 units of the CVO Road Glide (FLTRXSE) and CVO Street Glide (FLHXSE) models between January 4, 2023 and August 19, 2023. These models represent about 1 percent of the total population of CVO models for 2023.
What is the Problem that Led to the Recall?
The problem that led to the recall of these models was a lower frame rail clamp that may not adequately retain the rear brake line, which may allow the line to contact the exhaust. Contact between the brake line and the exhaust could, over time, lead to a hole in the brake line and a loss of rear brake fluid. This could result in reduced or no rear braking ability, increasing the risk of a crash. Related Articles: 2024 Harley Davidson Street Glide: A Glimpse Into The Future
The Cause of the Problem
According to Harley-Davidson's investigation, they found that some of the lower frame rail clamps were not installed correctly during assembly. They also found that some of these clamps were not strong enough to withstand vibration and heat from normal operation.
The Evidence of the Problem
Harley-Davidson discovered this problem after receiving three customer complaints of melted rear brake lines in early September 2023. They then inspected these bikes and confirmed that the rear brake lines had contacted the exhaust and developed holes.
The Severity of the Problem
Harley-Davidson stated that this problem could cause a loss of rear braking ability, which could increase the stopping distance or cause instability during braking. They also stated that this problem could cause a fire hazard if brake fluid leaked onto hot surfaces. They rated this problem as a safety defect that posed an unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety.
How Did Harley-Davidson Address the Problem?
Harley-Davidson implemented a solution to fix this problem by installing a secondary retention strap and a revised clamp on the affected bikes. They also notified the owners and dealers of the recall by mail.
The Solution for the Problem
The solution that Harley-Davidson implemented to fix this problem was to install a secondary retention strap and a revised clamp on the affected bikes. The secondary retention strap is a metal band that wraps around the lower frame rail and the rear brake line, preventing the line from moving or contacting the exhaust. The revised clamp is a stronger and more durable version of the original clamp that secures the rear brake line to the lower frame rail.
The Notification for the Recall
Harley-Davidson notified the owners and dealers of the recall by mail between October 16, 2023 and October 20, 2023. They instructed the owners to contact their dealers to schedule a free repair service as soon as possible. They also advised the owners not to ride their bikes until the repair is completed. They estimated that the repair would take about 30 minutes to perform.
The Status of the Recall
As of November 1, 2023, Harley-Davidson reported that they had repaired 1,234 units of the affected bikes, which represented about 56 percent of the recall population. They also reported that they had not received any reports of crashes, injuries, or fires related to this problem.
In conclusion, the recall of some of the 2023 Harley-Davidson CVO models is a serious issue that affects both the customers and the company. The cause of the recall is a lower frame rail clamp that may not retain the rear brake line properly, leading to possible brake fluid leakage and loss of rear braking ability. The consequence of the recall is a potential safety risk, customer dissatisfaction, brand damage, and financial loss. The solution of the recall is to install a secondary retention strap and a revised clamp on the affected bikes. If you are a current or prospective owner of a CVO model, you should check your VIN number on Harley-Davidson's website or on NHTSA's website to see if your bike is affected by this recall. You should also contact your dealer to schedule a free repair service as soon as possible. You should also stay updated on any further developments or announcements from Harley-Davidson regarding this recall. What do you think of this recall? How does it affect your perception of Harley-Davidson's products and services? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.