Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Free Article Join Over 1 Million Premium Members And Get More In-Depth Stock Guidance and Research

Harley-Davidson Recalls Its LiveWire Over Software Malfunction

By Rich Duprey - Oct 22, 2020 at 8:25AM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

More than 1,000 of the electric motorcycles are subject to the recall, though just a few owners have actually reported a problem.

Harley-Davidson ( HOG 2.79% ) is recalling over 1,000 of its 2020 LiveWire motorcycles after it discovered a software problem that could cause the electric bike's powertrain to shut down without warning. 

Although the bike maker expects just 1% of the motorcycles will actually have the malfunction, it is recalling all of the models within the particular production run to update the software.

Rider charging the LiveWire motorcycle

Recharging a LiveWire motorcycle. Image source: Harley-Davidson.

Short-circuiting sales

This isn't Harley's first issue with the LiveWire. Just as it debuted the motorcycle, it discovered a problem with the onboard Level 1 charger that hooks up to a household outlet. That caused the company to shut down production for a week to resolve the issue.

Since its introduction last year, Harley hasn't released any LiveWire production or sales data, leading analysts to estimate first-year production would be around 1,600 bikes.

The reception for the high-performance electric motorcycle has been uniformly positive, with most marveling at its technological prowess. The main concern continues to be its $30,000 price tag, which led analysts to suspect sales would be in the hundreds rather than thousands. The coronavirus pandemic upended those plans as dealerships were forced to close. 

Harley doesn't say what percentage of LiveWire's total production run is involved in the recall, only noting that a handful of bikes actually are reported to have a problem.

It said it received two reports the LiveWire suffered a loss of propulsion, and during its investigation discovered an issue with the bike's on-board charger (OBC). The unexpected loss of propulsion while driving increases the risk of a crash. Harley subsequently received four more complaints potentially related to the OBC, prompting it to initiate the recall of 1,012 bikes.

It says LiveWire owners can bring their bikes to a dealer to have the software updated at no cost.

 
This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Harley-Davidson, Inc. Stock Quote
Harley-Davidson, Inc.
HOG
$37.53 (2.79%) $1.02

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning service.

Stock Advisor Returns
631%
 
S&P 500 Returns
140%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 12/07/2021.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Our Most Popular Articles

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with the Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from the Motley Fool's premium services.