As we expected, a manufacturing error for a Nissin anti-lock brake modulator has led to a recall in the U.S. for the 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300. (UPDATE: Transport Canada has also issued a recall for 745 units, in addition to the 1,083 units recalled in the U.S.)
Kawasaki had already issued a recall in Japan for ABS-equipped versions of the 2013 Ninja 250, so it was no surprise that the 300, which uses nearly all of the same parts, would fall victim to the recall as well. The Ninja 300 joins the 250, the Suzuki Hayabusa (in Canada) and the Honda CTX700 and CTX700N in being affected by the Nissin ABS problem.
As we wrote about yesterday, the problem stems from a slight misalignment in the tool that inserts the brake fluid inlet check valve into the aluminum ABS modulator body. The misalignment may cause the valve to clip the edge of the press-fit hole during insertion, creating aluminum chips which could interfere with the inlet or outlet check valves during braking.
This could result in the loss of ABS function, allowing the wheels to lock under heavy braking.
According to documents released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Nissin first notified Kawasaki Heavy Industries in Japan about the potential for aluminum particle contamination on Jan. 9.
Kawasaki began an investigation of whether these loose aluminum chips could interfere with ABS function. On April 25, Kawasaki’s Thailand subsidiary notified the home office that some of its Ninja 300 units failed an ABS inspection. The flawed units were sent to Japan for further investigation.
On May 9, Kawasaki and Nissin began an investigation on the ABS modulator and the cause was determined on July 4. On July 8, Kawasaki alerted its U.S. operations about the recall action.
According to the timeline in the CTX700 recall filing, Nissin alerted Honda about the investigation on May 24, several weeks after it began. The Nissin component in question may also have been used on other models from other manufacturers. Nissin also supplies brake components to Harley-Davidson and Triumph, though it’s unclear whether any other models use the same ABS modulator.
Kawasaki dealers will replace the affected ABS modulators with a new unit. The recall affects 1,083 units of the 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300 in the U.S.