Harley-Davidson is issuing a recall on all Night Rod Special models from 2012 and some from 2013 because of a potentially loose license plate bracket.
According to documents released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the mounting screws connecting the VRSDCDX‘s license plate bracket to the tail may loosen, potentially causing the plate to rub against the rear tire. This may cause the plate bracket to rotate as well as damage rear brake lines.
Harley-Davidson received a report of disengaged license plate bracket interfering with the rear wheel of a VRSCDX Night Rod Special in July from Europe. Cross-referencing with warranty data found 23 claims related to missing screws and disengaged license plate bracket assemblies. Another report of a loose license plate bracket damaging rear brake lines was made in Canada in early August.
The day after the Canadian report, Harley-Davidson halted shipment of new units both at the Kansas City plant as well as the factory in Manaus, Brazil, which assembles complete knockdown units for that market.
Later in August, Harley-Davidson conducted vibration data on a VRSCDX. Using that data, Harley-Davidson applied similar vibrations on the rear fender and license plate bracket of the Night Rod and determined they could loosen some of the mounting screws. In September, Harley-Davidson conducted further tests to determine the effects of a loose plate bracket on other components.
Further follow-up determined Harley-Davidson received 24 further warranty claims, though none resulted in crashes or injuries.
Harley-Davidson dealers will apply a thread locking agent to the two rear mounting screws on affected units, as well as replace the two front screws and add new washers and a thread-locking agent. The recall affects 2,798 Night Rod Specials including all 2012 models and certain 2013 models produced between June 14, 2011 and Aug. 1, 2012.