Owners of potentially affected 2021 models should not ride them without recall service

Kawasaki Motors Corporation, U.S.A., issued a recall for certain 2021 motorcycles with 400cc of displacement due to a flaw in camshaft chain tensioner production.  

According to documents published by the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA), Kawasaki estimates that a total of 1,770 units are potentially affected by this issue. 

The models involved are the following: 

  • 2021 Kawasaki Z400 ABS 
  • 2021 Kawasaki Ninja 400 
  • 2021 Kawasaki Ninja 400 ABS 

Due to an improper heat treatment process during production of affected camshaft chain tensioners, strength of those units is insufficient to perform up to spec. Continued use may result in camshaft chain tensioner damage and noisy operation. In a worst-case scenario, it could potentially result in engine stalling, thus increasing a rider’s risk of a crash.  

Currently, the only potential warning listed is an abnormal engine noise. Potentially affected units were produced between July 1, 2020 and October 27, 2020. Kawasaki is recalling all potentially affected 2021 models, and is sending owners a letter instructing them “Do not ride” until an authorized Kawasaki dealer replaces the camshaft chain tensioner. 

Kawasaki is remedying this issue with replacement of the camshaft chain tensioner on all recalled bikes, with this recall service provided at no cost to customers. If you have already experienced the failure listed in this report, and have paid out of pocket to replace the camshaft chain tensioner, you may be eligible for full or partial reimbursement of the cost of repairs, as long as you have proper documentation. If this circumstance applies to you, Kawasaki asks that you please send current owner and VIN information along with copies of your repair orders and payment confirmation to: Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. ATTN: Customer Care P.O. Box 25252 Santa Ana, California 92799-5252 

Kawasaki is notifying dealers about this recall on December 18, 2020, and will send notifications to affected bike owners on December 21, 2020. Since it is currently the holiday season, it’s uncertain how quickly any such notifications sent by postal mail will get to owners. Concerned owners can contact KMC customer service at 1-866-802-9381, regarding KMC recall number MC20-13. 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 www.safercar.gov