January 11, 2016
| On 6 years ago

Suzuki V-Strom 1000 Recalled for Three Separate Electrical Issues

Suzuki is recalling V-Strom 1000 motorcycles to correct three different electrical issues. Two of the recalls affect 2014-2015 models (for a total of 2,404 units) and the third also affects another six units from the 2016 model year.

For 2014-2015 models, the terminals on the ignition switch coupler may get corroded when exposed to corrosive liquids such as salt water. In time, this can cause the power circuit to connect independent of the ignition switch and prevent the engine from being stopped by turning the ignition key to “off.”

This problem was first reported in January 2015 by Suzuki’s distributor in the Netherlands. Suzuki began an investigation on the issue and identified salt water corrosion as a likely cause. In April 2015, Suzuki began installing covers over the connectors as a temporary countermeasure. Suzuki continued to monitor the problem up until November to evaluate the countermeasure’s success under various conditions and in December began the recall process. Overall, Suzuki had received 33 reports of similar problems from Europe, Japan and Canada.

Suzuki dealers will install a cover on the ignition switch connector and, if there are signs of corrosion, replace the ignition lead wire and wire harness.

While that issue could prevent V-Stroms from turning off, a second recall also affecting 2014-2015 models ironically could prevent the engine from starting. According to Suzuki, corrosion can weaken the connection of the battery ground wire where it attaches to the painted surface of the crankcase. This can cause the engine to stall and fail to restart.

The second issue was first reported in September 2014 by Suzuki’s distributor in the United Kingdom. At first, Suzuki believed the problem was caused by a loosened bolt caused by improper maintenance. Over the next few months, Suzuki received four more similar reports, one of which revealed an acid film on a bolt. Suzuki theorized the acid increased the electrical resistance.

The reports continued to come in, leading to Suzuki deciding in June 2015 to stop painting the crankcase location where the battery ground wire attaches. In December, Suzuki decided to conduct a recall. As of August 2015, Suzuki had received 17 total reports believed to be related to this problem.

Suzuki dealers will relocate the battery ground connection to an unpainted surface. The selected new location is closer to the exhaust pipe routing, so the ground wire will receive a high-heat-resistance tube (note the different tubing on the wire harness in the diagram above).

The third recall relates to the wiring harness on 2014-2016 models. According to Suzuki, the wiring harness’ routing puts it too close to the bottom of the fuel tank. Vibration from regular use can cause the tank to wear away the insulation on the wire harness, allowing bare wire to contact the fuel tank and create a short circuit and potentially causing the engine to stall.

The problem was first reported by Suzuki’s Belgian distributor in February 2015 after noticing some rust on the fuel tank of a V-Strom 1000. At the time, Suzuki believed the issue to be cosmetic and not a functional problem. Not long after, Suzuki received a report from New Zealand about an engine cutting out. In March, Suzuki received six reports from the U.S. concerning the wiring harness rubbing against the fuel tank. Suzuki investigated to make sure the problem would not damage the fuel tank or result in a fuel leak. By November, Suzuki shifted its focus to the wire harness itself and confirmed the risk of a short circuit. In December, Suzuki initiated the recall process.

Suzuki dealers will inspect the wire harness on recalled models and, if necessary, reroute it to prevent contact with the fuel tank. If the insulation is worn, dealers will add protective electrical tape. If the bare wire is exposed, Suzuki dealers will replace the entire wire harness. In any case, dealers will also add an abrasion-resistant sticker to the fuel tank.

[Source: NHTSA, Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism]