May 19, 2005
Filed under Features
POLARIS RECALLS FIVE ATV MODELS
Polaris Industries Inc., Medina, Minn., has recalled approximately 14,882 of its Scrambler 500 and Sportsman 400, 500, 600 and 700.
Polaris says some 2004.5 and 2005 model year Sportsman and 2005 model year Scrambler 500 ATVs were assembled with possibly defective Electronic Control Modules (ECM), which may fail and overheat. If this were to occur, excessive heat could cause a fire. Polaris has received 26 reports of the ECM overheating. No injuries have been reported.
Dealers sold these ATVs nationwide from August 2004 through February 2005 for between $5,999 and $7,299. Polaris is asking consumers to contact a Polaris ATV dealer to schedule an appointment for free ECM replacement. The company says it notified registered affected consumers directly about this recall.
All the models were manufactured in the United States. Models included in the recall are the 2004.5 Sportsman 500, A04CH50AR; 2005 Sportsman 400, A05MH42AB; 2005 Sportsman 500, A05MH50AB, A05MH50AC, A05MH50AG and A05MH50AH; 2005 Sportsman 600, A05MH59AK; 2005 Sportsman 700, A05MH68AK, A05MH68AN and A05MH68AP; and 2005 Scrambler 500, A05BG50AA.
Affected units can be verified by comparing the last six digits of the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to a serial number range available from Polaris.
Polaris’ most recent ATV-related recalls occurred in September 2004, when the company recalled 12,170 units of its 2004 model year Sportsman 700 EFI and 18,500 of its 2003 and 2004 model year Predator 500.
Polaris said it had received 19 reports that the throttle cable on the Sportsman may bind, and said 31 incidents cited gasoline leaking from a fuel line rubbing on a chassis. The company said it received 127 reports of cracked and leaking front brake lines on the Predator model.
In March 2005, the company recalled approximately 11,560 of it 900 Fusion, RMK and Switchback snowmobiles to have wiring harnesses secured.
SUZUKI RECALLS ’05 EIGER, VINSON
American Suzuki Motor Corp., Brea, Calif., has announced a recall of approximately 1,540 Eiger and Vinson ATVs.
Suzuki says fuel petcock inserts were made with incorrect material that does not correctly bond the fuel tank and petcock insert. While resulting fuel leakage could cause fire, Suzuki says there have been no reported incidents of fire or injury.
Manufactured in Rome, Ga., the 2005 models were sold at Suzuki dealerships nationwide from December 2004 through April 2005 for between $5,199 and $6,699.
The recall includes the following models:
n LT-A400FK5 with Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) ending from 57104462 through 57105157
n LT-F400FK5 with VIN ending from 57103131 through 57103730
n LT-A500FK5 with VIN ending from 57105616 through 57106276
Suzuki asks consumers to stop using these ATVs immediately. The company says registered owners have been notified about this recall by mail and asked to contact their local Suzuki ATV dealer to schedule a free repair.
This is the second recall in two months to include the 2005 model year Vinson. In March, Suzuki recalled approximately 30,000 of its 2004-2005 Vinson and 2005 KingQuad ATVs.
On those units, Suzuki said water can enter the throttle lever case and freeze, causing the throttle lever to become stuck and fail to automatically return to the idle position when the rider releases the throttle.
CHINA'S ATV EXPORTS TOTAL $42.7 MILLION IN ’04
China’s outbound shipments of ATVs totaled $42.7 million in 2004, an increase of more than 1,200% compared to ATV exports in 2003, according to China’s customs statistics.
Youth models, mostly with 50cc engine displacement, comprise half of export output. Sports models (90cc to 150cc) account for 30%, and sports/utility models (200cc to 250cc) and utility models (250cc to 650cc) make up the rest.
The European Union and North America receive the majority of China’s shipments, absorbing a combined 63% of the product, according to Global Sources, a Hong Kong-based facilitator of global trade.
Global Sources services buyers who generate more than 4 million inquiries annually for more than 130,000 suppliers. The company offers creative services and export consultation through more than 1,100 team members in 44 locations in China.
While many suppliers are capable of producing their own engines, body parts and frames, components such as carburetors, shock absorbers, axles, rims, tires, suspension components and lights are mostly imported from Japan, Taiwan, Italy and other European countries, said Global Sources.
FEDS ISSUE PLANS FOR CALIFORNIA DESERTS
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently issued two 30-year desert management plans, for the Mojave Desert and for Imperial Sand Dunes in southeast California. Both are popular destinations for off-highway vehicle (OHV) enthusiasts.
The BLM plan for the western Mojave Desert encompasses 9.3 million acres and adds more than 800 miles of desert roads to the off-highway inventory, increasing the total to 5,098 miles.
The plan for the Imperial Sand Dunes, also called the Algodones Dunes, covers 160,000 acres. It would open more than 85% of the dunes to OHVs, reversing a five-year-old temporary court order.
STATE OF NY REVEALS ATV USE PROPOSAL
Off-highway vehicle enthusiasts in New York have been meeting with state policy makers to form an ATV use plan for public lands.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently made public a draft of a policy that determines which state roads and trails are suitable for ATV use.
In the draft, the DEC says: 1) it does not encourage use of ATV’s on public land; 2) the use of ATV’s in wildlife management areas and educational areas is prohibited, with the exception of people with special use permits; 3) on state lands within the Adirondack and Catskill parks designated as Wild Forest, ATV’s may only be used on roads; and 4) seasonal roads will only be opened on a temporary basis during times when they are unpassable (sic) to other traffic.
While the DEC says the draft is not creating any new policy and serves only as a tool to assist planners with current guidelines and regulations, many of the state’s off-road enthusiasts have expressed displeasure with the policy proposal — most recently at a public meeting in Utica.
Download the full DEC draft at: www.dec.state.ny.us/website/dlf/publands/