Nearly 20,000 Polaris all-terrain vehicles have been recalled, following hundreds of reports that suggest the protective heat shield may melt, which may result in a fire or pose a serious burn risk for riders.
The Polaris Sportsman ATV recall was announced by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on March 21, following at least 793 consumer complaints of problems with melting heat shield guards. In addition, the agency has received at least 47 reports of fires, including a number of burn injuries.
The large number of fire, burn and overheating reports is concerning for vehicle owners, since typically only a fraction of all problems with recreational vehicles are ever officially reported.
The problem appears to affect the heat shield panel on the right side of the vehicles, causing them to overheat and melt, posing burn and fire hazards to riders and occupants.
According to the CPSC, certain models included in the recall are also subject to exhaust leaks that may pose fire and burn hazards due to the potential for the exhaust springs to stretch and damage the exhaust steel.
The recall includes all model year 2015 and 2016 Polaris Sportsman 850 and 1000 all-terrain vehicles. The vehicles were sold in several colors and have the brand name “Polaris” printed on the front grill and “Sportsman 850” or “Sportsman 1000” printed on the side of the steering column.
For a full list of all of the recalled model numbers and colors the all-terrain vehicles were sold in, please visit the CPSC recall notice linked above.
Given the heightened number of fire, injury and consumer complaints of the vehicles overheating, officials are urging consumers to stop using the recalled ATV’s immediately.
The vehicles were manufactured in the United States by Polaris Industries Inc., of Medina, Minnesota. They were distributed for sale to Polaris dealers nationwide from May 2014 through March 2017 for between $8,500 and $15,000.
The CPSC recommends that customers stop using the recalled vehicles immediately and contact Polaris Industries at 800-765-2747 or visit them online at www.polaris.com and navigate to the “Off-Road Safety Recalls” link for information on how to schedule a free repair. Polaris has begun contacting registered owners, however customers are being encouraged to check their vehicles to determine whether they are included in the recall.