Subject: Engine Vibrations may Damage Ignition Switch
Harley-Davidson Motor Company (Harley-Davidson) is recalling certain model year 2014.5-2016 Dyna Low Rider motorcycles (FXDL 103) manufactured January 6, 2014 to April 7, 2016. In the affected motorcycles, engine vibrations may damage the ignition switch internally and, as a result, the engine may shut off while riding.
If the engine shuts off, the motorcycle would stall, increasing the risk of a crash.
Harley-Davidson will notify owners, and dealers will install an improved ignition switch, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in June 2016. Owners may contact Harley-Davidson customer service at 1-800-258-2464. Harley-Davidson’s number for this recall is 0168.
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
Report Receipt Date: MAY 10, 2016
NHTSA Campaign Number: 16V283000
Component(s): ELECTRICAL SYSTEM
Potential Number of Units Affected: 8,060
Harley-Davidson recalls Dyna Low Rider motorcycles belonging to three model years, to solve a problem that may pose a grave danger. The ignition switch of these motorcycles may vibrate enough to inadvertently change position without input from the rider.
Vibrations caused by the engine are said to be the cause of this defect, and there is no other way to solve this problem but by replacing it with an updated ignition switch that is more resistant to vibration.
The issue is a serious one, and there are at least two scenarios that could turn a pleasant ride into a day that riders would rather forget.
The first is becoming stranded in the middle of nowhere, with the impossibility to restart the bike. Some riders with a bit of MacGyver genes could fund a way to detach the wires that lead to the ignition switch and jumpstart the machine, but these guys are only a fraction of the Harley-Davidson owners.
Most of them seem more prone to call for roadside assistance from Harley or call a friend with a platform or pickup, rather than wreak havoc through the bike’s electrical harness.
Now, such a scenario almost looks like a desirable one than that of the ignition switch unintendedly changing position and causing the engine to stop running. The sudden loss of engine power has good odds to cause a crash, with very severe consequences, so the customers who own 2014-2016 Harley-Davidson Dyna Low Rider bikes should better get in touch with their nearest dealers to have them checked and repaired.
So far, this recall was confirmed for Canada (410 units, already) and Australia, and has been extended to the United States now as well.
Such issues are not exactly uncommon, especially with bikes whose owners use to hang all sorts of objects and fobs to the ignition keys. They create drag and make the key shake and vibrate inside the switch, and sometimes, these movements will damage those switches.