WASHINGTON - Iconic US motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson is recalling nearly 175,000 bikes in the United States due to fears the brakes could fail, a government regulator announced Wednesday.
If brake fluid on the motorcycles is not replaced for a "prolonged period" beyond the recommended two-year schedule, deposits may form on internal components "reducing braking ability and increasing the risk of a crash," the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said in a statement.
NHTSA began investigating the problem in July 2016 after receiving complaints about sudden brake loss, and said the recall covers 31 models from the 2008 to 2011 model years.
The agency told the company last month that a safety recall was necessary, and rejected Harley's proposal to instead launch a campaign to educate riders about the safety matter and the importance of regularly changing brake fluids.
The company will notify owners that dealers will offer a free brake fluid flush beginning February 12.