The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a recall notice for certain 2013-2014 model-year Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Two models are noted, the FXSB (Softail Breakout) and FXSBSE (Softail CVO Breakout), and there are potentially 9102 units affected. According to the NHTSA release, “Suspension variances may affect the gas tank mounting angle causing the fuel level sensor to read inaccurately.”
In the defect notice submitted to the NHTSA on April 7, 2014, Harley-Davidson outlines the issue in more detail: “Some of these motorcycles may run out of fuel while the fuel range indicator shows miles remaining, in some cases before the low fuel warning lamp illuminates. If this condition remains undetected it could cause the engine to stop running unexpectedly. While in traffic, a stall can possibly lead to a crash. Harley-Davidson has initiated this recall to correct this condition in the affected motorcycles.”
The first indication of a problem occurred on January 7, 2014 when a Harley-Davidson Current Product Engineering reliability engineer reported that a test bike unexpectedly ran out of fuel. Further investigation revealed six reports that were believed to be strongly related to the issue and “an additional 16 reports that might be related.”
Engineering analysis revealed the pitch of the fuel tank on the affected models is too far forward and by March 31, 2014 the decision was made to issue a safety recall.
Harley-Davidson will recalibrate fuel level sensors on affected models, free of charge.
Owners of affected models may contact Harley-Davidson at 1-800-258-2464 for more information. Owners may also call the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or go to www.safecar.gov for more information. The NHTSA campaign ID number is 14V185000.