Canadian Manufacturing

Ghost in the machine: Indian motorcycles may self start

Affected models may have a faulty switch that, due to corrosion, can cause an electrical short and start up the bike's engine. The Minnesota company has started a recall of 11 models


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DETROIT—There may be a ghost in the machine in about 3,300 Indian brand motorcycles. The engines can start by themselves because of a faulty switch.

The Minnesota company started a recall Thursday of 11 models from the 2018 model year.

Documents posted by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration say corrosion in the switch can cause an electrical short. That can start the engine if the key fob is nearby. The agency says if the engine starts unintentionally and the bike is in an enclosed space, people could be exposed to carbon monoxide.

Documents show two reports of Indian motorcycles starting themselves, one at a dealership and another in a development vehicle. Polaris Industries Inc., which owns Indian, says it has no reports of carbon monoxide exposure or injuries.

Dealers will replace the switch at no cost to owners.

Affected models include certain Indian Chief, Chief Classic, Chief Dark Horse, Chief Vintage, Chieftain, Chieftain Classic, Chieftain Dark Horse, Chieftain Elite, Chieftain Limited, Springfield and Springfield Dark Horse.


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