Harley Davidsons could be seized in ITV probe

A SPECIALIST group within the Guardia Civil has opened an investigation into document falsification and fraud in the sale of Harley Davidson motorbikes.

Some 5,000 Harley Davidsons could be taken off the roads after the discovery that some importers may have sent them to privately-owned ITV centres willing to overlook legal requirements.

The Traffic Information Support Group (GIAT) has found that seller, homologation engineers and staff at ITV (Spanish MOT) centres could be involved.

The technical data cards of these second-hand Harleys, imported from the USA, have allegedly been forged.

The investigation began at the beginning of this year when the Guardia Civil detected an “unusual” number of Harley-Davidsons were being taken for ITV testing in Las Pedroñeras, Cuenca.

Harley-Davidson España informed them that since 2003, motorbikes for the European market must have a 5HD code on the technical data card, while those from the USA have 1HD codes.

They were also able to inform the Guardia Civil that some of the motorbikes they had requested information about were in unusual situations because they had been authorized in Spain although they were configured for the US market.

This led the Guardia Civil to request reports for more than 100 motorbikes, all checked in Las Pedroñeras, a town located between Albacete and Madrid. They found that the technical data card issued for these motorbikes should be revoked because they had the US specifications and were illegal in Spain.

Buyers, sellers, importers, ITV staff and engineers were called to give statements, and many owners saw their log books revoked.

Meanwhile, some importers accused Harley Davidson España of tampering with the cards, and buyers who have paid up to €16,000 for their motorbikes complain that the company’s official dealers in Spain are attempting to stop second-hand imports so they can sell more.

The company denies this and has assured that motorbikes bought in Spain, or those with the correct authorization can be ridden in Spain legally.

Some of the importers have made a complaint against GIAT for document falsification, corruption and influence peddling.

By Jennifer Leighfield

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