Suzuki issued a recall campaign for its 2012 V-Strom 650 and Burgman scooters due to a defect in the brake light activation switches.

According to documents released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, rear brake lights may not activate when the rider squeezes the brake levers of the affected models. As a result, other road users behind the affected unit may not realize it is slowing down, increasing the risk of a crash. In the case of the Suzuki Burgman 650 Exec and Burgman 400, the fault may also prevent the scooters from starting.

The problem is caused by the way the electrical contacts for the brake light switch operate. Normally, when the brake lever is squeezed, a movable contact touches a fixed contact in a wiping motion, completing a circuit and illuminating the brake light.

In the case of the recalled models, the contacts may separate under braking, causing the electricity to take an alternate route to complete the circuit and actually flow through a metal spring. The light will still illuminate in this case, but over time, the current may heat the spring, causing it to stretch, disrupting the circuit.

The problem was first reported in Sept. 20, 2011, in Japan. Suzuki received a report of a 250cc Burgman produced for the Japanese market with a rear brake light failure. An investigation identified the problem, and a recall campaign was initiated for models using the same components.

Suzuki dealers will replace the brake light activation switches on the affected units. The campaign affects 1,396 units.

[Source: NHTSA Campaign ID# 12V038000]