Arizona residents who own some of Harley-Davidson's most iconic models may have recently received recall notices. The Wisconsin-based motorcycle manufacturer is recalling more than 250,000 VSRC performance bikes and CVO cruisers made between 2008 and 2011. These models are better known as the V-Rod and the Street Glide. The voluntary recall has been issued because degraded break fuel can cause the anti-lock braking systems fitted to the bikes to corrode and fail.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration became involved when it received 43 complaints and learned about three accidents and two injuries. One owner reported the failure of both the front and rear braking systems without warning. Harley-Davidson's maintenance recommendations call for brake fluid to be drained and replaced every two years, but the company says that many owners ignore this advice. Proper maintenance is necessary because the Dot 4 brake fluid used by Harley-Davidson degrades over time, and its chemical properties weaken.
The motorcycle manufacturer originally planned to begin draining and flushing the braking systems of the affected bikes on Feb. 12, but those plans have now been put on hold. The company now says that the new Platinum Label Dot brake fluid needed to perform the recall will not be available until mid-March. However, the company tempered potential consumer disappointment by announcing that the work would be performed at no charge.
Manufacturers have a duty to warn those who buy their products about the dangers of failing to perform scheduled maintenance, and they are expected to send reminders and be persistent when lives could be placed in danger. The defendants in product liability lawsuits rarely want their products to be associated with injuries in a courtroom; attorneys with experience in this area may encourage them to settle these matters to protect their brand names and avoid public exposure.