In yet another setback to Harley-Davidson in recent times, the Bar & Shield brand has issued a massive recall of roughly 2.5 lakh motorcycles worldwide on account of a brake problem which could lead to sudden failure, and even accidents. The recall affects the ABS on 2008 to 2011 model year Touring, CVO Touring, and VSRC models. The massive recall of the 2,50,000 bikes, of which 1,75,000 are in the US, is expected to cost Harley-Davidson around $30 million (over ₹ 195 crore).
The issue is apparently due to a faulty ABS module, and/or neglected maintenance, both of which have the potential to result in failing brake calipers. Harley-Davidson issued the recall in mid-February, and owners of affected bikes can bring them to a local dealership to have the problem fixed. In India, Harley-Davidson sells only the Touring range and the CVO Limited. According to Harley-Davidson India, the numbers of affected bikes in India are very less. But it would be prudent for owners of Touring and CVO models of the affected years to get their bikes checked at a Harley-Davidson dealership.
Harley-Davidson has been facing a steadily declining customer base, with global sales declining in recent years. In 2017, Harley-Davidson sales fell sharply in the US and the company decided to shut down its manufacturing plant in Kansas City. The only silver lining for Harley-Davidson is that sales in some overseas markets have been somewhat encouraging. Even though worldwide retail sales of Harley-Davidson fell by over 6 per cent in 2017, sales in the US slipped 8.5 per cent. As part of the company's effort to increase sales, Harley-Davidson plans to increase international business to 50 per cent of its total annual volume, and in just over a year, the characteristic American v-twin cruisers will be launched with an all-electric motor.