Zero Motorcycles Recalls Bikes that “Quit While Running”

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On the heels of its August 2013 recall for faulty brake caliper mounting bolts, Zero has announced yet another recall for its electric motorcycles, this time one involving  several 2012-2013 models.

In December of last year, Zero Motorcycles released a statement announcing that they intended to recall 667 motorcycles due to faulty firmware that may cause the bike to lose power while running, potentially resulting in a crash.

According to Zero, “the subject motorcycles have a controller firmware that may react to infrequently encountered signal faults.” In layman’s terms, the signal to the motor controller may drift over the course of extended use of the bike, causing the motor to shut down sporadically.

The models in question are as follows:

  • 2012  Zero XU: production date 10/21/2011-7/25/2012
  • 2012 Zero S: production date 10/21/2011-7/5/2012
  • 2012 Zero DS: production date 10/21/2011-4/3/2013
  • 2013 Zero XU: production date 1/31/2013-5/21/2013
  • 2013 Zero FX: production date 1/25/2013-6/20/2013
  • 2013 Zero S: production date 1/21/2013-11/8/2013
  • 2013 Zero DS: production date 1/24/2013-10/21/2013

Some owners have claimed that Zero has known about this problem for some time and have been slow to respond to the issue. Zero stated in their defect notice, issued in December of last year, that they had recognized there was a problem as early as September of 2012.

Zero has said it will remedy the defect by updating the motor controller firmware and configuring it to compensate for the signal drift. According to the NHTSA, the recall is expected to begin in mid-January and will be of no charge to owners.

Concerned owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to

Source: NHTSA