Recalls eh? Apparently it’s the new trend!

Recalls, yep. Those things. We’ve heard ENOUGH about them the past few years in the automotive industry, and now they’re becoming popular in the side by side industry!

4/18/16- Yamaha recalls their YXZ for a sticking throttle in icy conditions.

4/19/16- Polaris recalls their 2013-2016 RZR900 and RZR1000 models for burning to the ground (along with your hopes and dreams)

4/26/16- Arctic Cat recalls their Wildcat 1000s to add an additional 25hp..? Ok maybe not. BUT WE CAN DREAM!


For us, these recalls are good AND bad in the same sense. On one hand, it’s fairly obvious Yamaha should have caught the icing throttle issue. Their experience spans DECADES and Yamaha machines have been no strangers to the winter conditions. On the other hand, they recalled the machine so quickly that no one has been hurt and their reputation hasn’t been tarnished by lawsuits or any other litigation.

But Polaris, ohhhh Polaris. As we all know a ship that big is hard to turn and they have been at best “lack luster” in their handling of fire claims. Anyone can Google “rzr fire” and find literally HUNDREDS of cases in which Rangers and RZRs (of all sizes!) burning to the ground without any action from Polaris until their first recall of ~4500 units back in 2012 (including Ranger and RZR XP900 models) for a fire hazard that resulted in AT LEAST 1 injury.

As we now know, this isn’t the first time Polaris has been under fire for recalls. Again in 2015 they recalled RZR 170 youth models for a potential fire hazard. Luckily, at the time of the recall there have been no injuries. But yet AGAIN in October of 2015 Polaris recalled ONLY 2015 model year RZR 1000 and RZR 900 models for a pinched fuel line issue that resulted in a fire hazard.

A mere 2 months later the brand new Polaris RZR XP Turbo model was recalled for (you guessed it!) a FIRE HAZARD! This time it was due to improperly torqued bolts that hold the oil drain into the turbo. Hot oil could leak and ignite causing a fire.

And despite these recall efforts, we now know just recently that Polaris has done a blanket recall on the 2013 through current RZR 1000 and RZR 900 models for ANOTHER FIRE HAZARD ISSUE that affects over 100,000 units.


Well, obviously high horsepower machines built to recreational off-road vehicle standards are notoriously tough to make strong and safe while keeping the price in check. And with Polaris models selling more than any other, they will naturally have a higher occurrence of issues. So is this problem a function of volume? Is it a function of “customer engineering?” We don’t know yet. There is a cost to be at the top and for Polaris it’s them vs fire.

What can be done?

At this point it’s clear Polaris has a trend for mistakes along the line that put their customers in danger. Whether its a manufacturing issue, engineering issue, or dealer assembly issue it’s clear that Polaris needs to take steps to prevent this from happening. It’s bad PR, it costs money, and it’s just generally bad for business. As with any issue, it’s always a balance of cost versus reward and certainly Polaris can’t afford more recalls.

What can you do?

If you own an affected model (check here with Polaris’s VIN checking tool) and get to the dealer IMMEDIATELY. If you have YXZ and drive in icy conditions, contact your dealer also! And if you have another machine with issues that aren’t recalled or even known, it’s still a smart idea to document this issue with your dealer for the future. Being that I am mostly involved in the Arctic Cat world, I’ve seen a lot of situations in which AC will give a “good will” part (whether it be an engine, clutch, etc) to a customer that had a verified issue that AC is aware of. In fact, my 2012 had a new engine installed for free in 2014 (yes, 1.5 years AFTER the factory warranty) due to an oil leak. It’s a known problem and luckily AC has great customer service! I haven’t dealt with the other companies personally, but I’ve read a lot of stories that make me think other companies aren’t as good as AC.

What does the future hold?

This is where it get’s tricky. With the side by side industry growing the amount of new and used machines being purchased is growing and we can only assume new issues will come to light at an even faster pace. And obviously manufacturers hold a responsibility to ALL their customers to give them a machine that won’t spontaneously combust or launch you into a tree when the throttle sticks. But, at what point do we draw the line? Certainly we don’t want another “Ban the 3 wheelers because kids are getting killed!” situation that causes needless public panic, misconception, and machine destruction at the hands of a few highly-influenced law makers. But there needs to be a sense of commitment to customers from companies. It’s a fine line, and we’re sure all of the manufacturers walk it gently.

Stay tuned for future details regarding these recalls and any new ones down the road. We’ll do our best to keep you (the consumer!) on top of issues.


4 Comments on "Recalls eh? Apparently it’s the new trend!"

  1. What did the RZR say to the Can-AM? I do not Re-Call?

  2. I own Arctic Cat Wildcat and it’s brand new. After reading the blog I think I should be careful while riding it.

  3. August 2 2016

    Corporate Headquarters
    Legal Department
    2100 Highway 55
    Medina MN 55340

    Re: Safety Recall Notice Alert Z-16-02 : VIN # 3NSVFE925GFxxxxxx

    To Polaris Legal Department;

    I have received your recall notice/stop ride notice on August 2, 2016 attached hereto.

    I have over $45 k invested in this brand new Polaris Razor, all receipts and photos are on file. I have contacted Polaris and was given case # 3769xxx by Jeremy in Consumer Relations Tier 2.

    Due to the fact that Polaris does not have a fix and is not offering to buy back my Razor ;

    BY THIS LETTER I AM PUTTING POLARIS ON NOTICE that unless Polaris either offers a fix for my Razor in the next 15 days or buys back my Razor in that same time period then I will continue to operate the vehicle for the uses I understood the Razor to be used for when I purchased the vehicle.

    Not using my Razor was not part of our original contractual purchase, selling me something that Polaris is now deeming to be unusable was not the original understanding for the purchase agreement of this vehicle.

    THIS LETTER ALSO SERVES AS NOTICE after the 15 days, that I will continue to use my Razor for its intended purpose and any damage that occurs as a result of these known and identifiable manufacturer defects will be the sole responsibility and liability of Polaris.

    Polaris’s inability or unwillingness to fix the defects or finance a buy back of the Razor in no way should effect my quite enjoyment of the product purchased .


    Suzanne M Frost, PLLC

  4. We are still waiting for our RZR 900 to be fixed from the recall. It’s September and they tell us the part still is not in. We are pist. We still have to make the payments and keep insurance on it. Now the summer is over, we could of had a lot of fun. But no it just sits in the garage. I think the manufacturer should make it right for us, it’s like paying for a dead horse. Summer is over and I can’t ride in the cold. We have had our name on the list to get our side by side fixed. Dose anyone know of a lawsuit for people that has waited this long. I’m so up set about this. Please if anyone’s what we can do that we be so appreciate.

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