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Nowadays Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor (PMSM) are an attractive alternative to induction machines for a variety of applications due to their higher efficiency, power density and wide constant power speed range. In this context the condition monitoring of magnets status is receiving more and more attention since is critical for industrial applications. This paper presents a characterization of rotor faults for such a motor due to local and uniform demagnetization by means of two dimensional (2-D) Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and proposes a new non-invasive method for their detection by means of a Fourier transform of the back-EMF. The proposed approach is then validated for three permanent magnet synchronous motors with different winding configurations.