Recall: 2012 Zero Motorcycles S & DS

09/21/2012 @ 3:06 pm, by Jensen Beeler3 COMMENTS

Zero Motorcycles has issued a recall for 2012 Zero S & 2012 Zero DS electric motorcycles. Affecting 315 units, the recall is for a motor encoder position signal, which may drift over the course of the motorcycle’s use. If the signal drifts outside of the given parameters, the motor controller may shut off, resulting in the Zero inadvertently losing power.

Obviously, if the motor cuts out power unexpectedly, it could result in a loss of control of the motorcycle, which could lead to a crash for the rider. Zero Motorcycles will notify affected owners, and Zero dealers will reprogram the motorcycle’s motor controller free of charge. The safety recall is expected to begin on September 24, 2012.

Concerned owners may contact Zero Motorcycles at 1-888-786-9376, As always the NHTSA is available at 1-888-327-4236 and

Interestingly enough, when we tested the 2012 Zero S earlier this year, our demo unit unexpectedly shutdown several times while we were riding it in the Oakland hills. At the time, we were told that we must have accidentally hit the rear-brake while also on-the-throttle, which caused a fault in the system — a known bug with the Zero S at the time.

We disagreed with Zero Motorcycles that this was the cause of our bike shutting down, and today’s news raises some eyebrows on that prior situation. Whether our experience was due to the issue being addressed here with this recall or something else, only the data-logger on our Zero S truly knows, but this recall certainly highlights some issues with Zero’s electric powertrain system.

Source: NHTSA; Photo: © 2012 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0

  • This bodes ill for the electron set.

    Of course it is not a big deal at all, were it a gasoline powered brand it wouldn’t even be news. But I expect the e-bashing set to go bananas.

  • jack white

    brake light recall ?
    power failure recall?
    battery not water proof recall?

  • protomech

    The earlier recall covered an improperly waterproofed temperature sensor connector on the BMS. To the best of my knowledge noone has reported battery issues to date.

    The really interesting bit is not the recall but rather the length of time it took Zero to investigate and resolve the problem, about 3 months. I wonder how much of this was due to interfacing issues with Sevcon. You can bet the established motorcycle manufacturers will either move controller design in-house or require significantly higher levels of testing.