Suzuki headlights are catching on fire because of a defect in the daytime running lamp module that allows excessive heat to build up until it sparks a flame.
Lights can get hot, especially lights that could conceivably be on all day. That’s why the module controlling daytime running lights has a heat protection circuit. However, Suzuki’s modules have an issue with a metal oxide transistor that stops the heat protection circuit from – you guessed it – protecting against heat.
As the heat builds up the module will melt. As the gooey remainscontinue to smolder, they’ll start to smoke and maybe even catch on fire.
Daytime Running Lamp Recalls
The module is located on the left side of the steering column and has been recalled twice.
The Forenza and Reno recalls
The recall covered the 2004-2008 Forenza and 2005-2008 Reno.
Verona added to the recall list
A couple months later the Verona was recalled for the same problem.
The recall covered 26,000 vehicles from the 2004-2006 model years.
Lawsuit Never Sees the Light of Day in Court
In June of 2015, a Forenza owner filed a class-action lawsuit against Suzuki after his car caught on fire. His insurance company was quick to place the blame on Suzuki’s negligence.
By August, the vehicle had smoke coming from the dashboard and instrument panel area which turned into a fire. Dinwiddie says Suzuki told him his auto insurance would need to cover the repairs even though the Forenza was under warranty. However, the insurance company said the fire was caused by negligence on the part of Suzuki.
At the time the case was filed, Suzuki had already filed for bankruptcy. With that in mind, and because there had already been a recall in 2014, the judge dismissed the case.