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Harley-Davidson announces recall of 251,000 motorcycles

New Jersey residents who own Harley-Davidson motorcycles may soon be receiving recall notices. The Wisconsin-based company has announced that it is voluntarily recalling more than 250,000 motorcycles manufactured between 2008 and 2011 to fix a problem with the anti-lock braking systems. Harley-Davidson says that it will cost approximately $29.4 million to address the issue, which affects the CVO Road Glide and V-Rod models. Almost 175,000 of the motorcycles covered by the recall were sold to customers in the United States.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began investigating issues with the anti-lock braking systems of Harley-Davidson motorcycles in July 2016 after receiving 43 complaints. The problem is caused by a module that can corrode and cause brakes to fail without warning, and it has been linked to three accidents and two injuries. Most riders say that the corroded modules caused them to lose either their front or rear brakes, but one motorcycle owner says that the problem caused total brake failure.

According to Harley-Davidson, the corrosion is caused by brake fluid that has become contaminated by water, and the company suggested that many of its customers are not having their braking systems flushed and refilled as often as they should. The motorcycle manufacturer recommends that this work be performed every two years, and its dealers will begin flushing and replacing the brake fluid on the affected models on Feb. 12.

It is not uncommon for manufacturers to blame safety issues with their products on their customers, and attorneys with experience in product liability cases may anticipate such arguments when pursuing civil remedies on behalf of consumers who have been injured by defective goods. Attorneys might scrutinize court records for similar cases and check media sources for accounts of other accidents, or they may seek to replicate the issue involved while using the product for its intended purpose and following the manufacturer's instructions.

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