Harley-Davidson recalls 300,000 motorcycles

Harley-Davidson is about to hit the brakes and recall approximately 308,000 motorcycles.

According to the Associated Press, there is a problem with a switch on the bikes that can cause the brake lights to stop working, or even worse, may cause the rear brakes to fail.

Last week the company filed documents with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration confirming the brake light switches are exposed to too much heat from the exhaust system. The excess heat can lead to the brake lights failing, and it can also cause fluid leaks that make the rear brakes go out.

In addition, the motor cycle giant  filed some paperwork with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission because it expects this little gaffe to cost them around $10-$12 million. They’ll charge that as a business expense in the fourth quarter.

The major malfunction is present in their Touring, CVO Touring and Trike models from the 2009-2012 model years. The malfunctioning motorcycles were constructed between June 6, 2008 and Sept. 16, 2011.

Harley says that it will notify owners of the recall, but what they should really say is that they will notify registered owners because only registered owners with a model number they’ve purchased can access the press release on their official site. It is likely that it will be sent in a mass email to subscribers, but as of now the official release is not available to the public.

The good news for Harley owners is that official dealers will install a rear brake light switch replacement kit free of charge.

The recall issue is in about 251,000 motorcycles in the U.S., and the rest of the problematic cycles are in other countries.

Harley said that it noticed the problem in June 2010 when it received a report on a Trike motorcycle that lost its rear brakes because of the issue. The company started looking into the malfunction in July 2010 when they sent investigators to a dealership in Louisiana to examine another bike that was a part of a crash.

Harley has not been able to determine if the problem caused the Louisiana crash yet, which was responsible for injuring one person, company spokeswoman Maripat Blankenheim said Monday.

She was not aware of how seriously the person was hurt; however she also said that Harley does not think that there are any other crashes or injuries.

The documents from Harley say that there have been no more reports of the issue occuring since July 2010.

Even in the face of this expensive news, shares of Harley-Davidson rose by 3.2 percent to reach $38.82 on Monday.