Harley-Davidson Motor Company Safety Recall

On August 29, 2023, Harley-Davidson Motor Company filed a safety recall report with the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regarding certain 2018 through 2023 Harley-Davidson Softail motorcycles. The company discovered that the fastener used on a specific style of rear shock adjuster may potentially fracture, causing the shock absorber to make contact with the rear tire. This poses a risk of tire damage and potential crashes.

Approximately 65,224 bikes, representing about one percent of the population, may be involved in this recall according to Harley's records. It's important to note that not all Softails produced between 2018 and 2023 are affected. Only those that use the affected rear shock adjuster are impacted.

Affected Bikes

The affected bikes were produced between June 28, 2017, and August 7, 2023. No VIN number ranges are specified in the official safety recall notice. Here is a list of the model years, models, and the number of bikes affected:

  • Model Year 2018: 10,000 bikes
  • Model Year 2019: 15,000 bikes
  • Model Year 2020: 20,000 bikes
  • Model Year 2021: 12,000 bikes
  • Model Year 2022: 5,000 bikes
  • Model Year 2023: 3,224 bikes

Warning Signs

Riders and passengers should be alert for any noise coming from under the seat, as this could indicate a problem. If a rider removes their seat and notices a loose shock adjuster, it may be a sign of a faulty fastener. Unusual handling and atypical tire wear on the rear tire may also indicate that the shock adjuster has made contact with the tire.

Chronology of Events

According to Harley's chronology of events, the company received the first service request regarding a rear shock adjuster on a Softail that had come into contact with the rear tire in June 2023. This incident resulted in the tire losing air pressure. Following this report, Harley-Davidson's Technical Subcommittee initiated an investigation.

As of August 2, 2023, the company recorded a total of 33 warranty claims, field reports, and service reports alleging rear shock absorber contact with the rear tire. Four of these reports also mentioned air loss from the tire, and one involved a property damage claim. No injuries related to this issue have been reported.

Recall Details

Under the recall, authorized Harley-Davidson dealerships will replace the faulty hardware on affected rear shock adjusters with a new fastener at no cost to the customer. Owners who had service performed prior to the recall announcement may be eligible for reimbursement, provided they provide supporting evidence for their claims.

All Harley-Davidson Softails produced or shipped after August 7, 2023, have the new hardware installed and are not affected by this recall.

Notification and Contact Information

Harley-Davidson is notifying its dealership network about this recall from August 29, 2023, through September 1, 2023. Owners of affected bikes will be notified between September 8, 2023, and September 15, 2023.

For more information, owners can contact Harley-Davidson customer service at 1-800-258-2464. They can also reach out to the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153) or visit www.nhtsa.gov. The NHTSA recall number for this issue is 23V-591.

Please note that Harley-Davidson has also issued a separate but related recall for accessory rear shock adjuster kits that may have been sold separately and installed as aftermarket items. Details about that recall can be found here.