Harley-Davidson motorcycles investigated for brake failure

This June 18, 2014, photo shows Harley-Davidson's new electric motorcycle at the company's research facility in Wauwatosa, Wis. (AP Photo/M.L. Johnson)

The U.S. government is investigating complaints from Harley-Davidson riders who say their motorcycle brakes failed without warning.

The investigation covers 430,000 Harley-Davidson motorcycles with model years between 2008 and 2011 and that have an anti-lock braking system, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Friday.

Riders reported that the brakes on the hand lever and foot pedal did not work, causing one driver to crash into a garage door. NHTSA said it received 43 complaints, three reports of crashes and two reports of injuries.

The agency said it is possible that some riders who experienced brake failure did not change the motorcycle's brake fluid every two years as recommended by Harley-Davidson. The old fluid may corrode valves in the anti-lock braking system, NHTSA said. Even if riders did not change the fluid, the sudden brake failure "is a concern," the agency said.

Representatives of Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson Inc. did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday morning.
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