The motorcycle manufacturer said the recall affects some 2009-2012 Touring and Trike models along with its Custom Vehicle Operations (CVO), and warns the rear brake light switch may be exposed to excessive heat from the exhaust system, notes the Wall Street Journal.
A spokesman from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) told The Huffington Post that Harley-Davidson filed a document last week about the recall. According to the AP, the recall involves 250,757 models built from June 6, 2008 through September 16, 2011.
In the letter to the NHTSA, Harley-Davidson explains the defect:
"The condition may affect brake lamp function and/or cause a brake fluid leak through the rear brake switch, affecting rear brake performance. Either condition may increase the risk of a crash."
The document also tells the NHTSA that Harley-Davidson will pick up the tab for replacing the rear brake light switch for affected recalled models.
About 251,000 motorcycles in the U.S. will be affected by the recall, while 50,000 are overseas, says AP.
Harley-Davidson sent the following statement to The Huffington Post:
The defect first came to the company's attention after a Louisiana crash in June 2010, reports AP.
In the interest of customer safety and satisfaction, Harley-Davidson Motor Company has issued a voluntary recall on 308,474 model year 2009 through 2012 Touring, CVO Touring and Trike vehicles built between June 6, 2008, through Sept. 16, 2011. On the affected vehicles, the rear brake light switch may be exposed to temperatures that degrade its performance under certain riding conditions. This condition may affect brake lamp function and/or cause a brake fluid leak through the rear brake switch affecting rear brake performance. Vehicle owners are being notified by mail of this recall and are urged to contact their Harley-Davidson dealer to arrange for the repair. There is no charge to the owner for the repair.
This isn't the first time the 2009-10 Touring, Trike and CVO models have been recalled.
In 2009, The New York Times reported that Harley-Davidson issued a recall of 111,600 motorcycles after discovering the fuel tanks could leak following a severe crash.
In February of this year, according to Fox News, the company issued a recall for 2011 Softail motorcycles, saying water intrusion could lead to a stalled engine.
Harley-Davidson also announced a recall in 2006 over the Harley-Davidson FXD 2006 due to the risk of the transmission going into a false neutral position even though the neutral indicator light was illuminated. Such incidents could lead to a crash.
See a list of the motorcycle vehicle models affected by this recall posted on safercar.org. Customers may also contact Harley-Davidson at 414-343-4056.
UPDATE: An earlier version of this story said Harley-Davidson did not respond to comments. The company later sent a press statement which is now included in this latest updated version of the article.