Textron Recalls Arctic Cat Wildcat UTVs

2017 Arctic Cat Wildcat Trail SE

The 2017 Arctic Cat Wildcat Trail SE is being recalled due to a winch issue.

2017 Arctic Cat wildcat Sport SE

The 2017 Arctic Cat Wildcat Sport SE is being recalled as well.

Textron Specialized Vehicles recently announced the recall of approximately 300 model year 2017 Arctic Cat Wildcat Trail SE and Wildcat Sport SE utility vehicles as well as approximately 3,000 winch accessory kits sold for 2014 to 2017 Wildcat Trail and Wildcat Sport UTVs. The winch solenoid can overheat and pose a fire hazard. Owners should stop using the vehicles and contact Arctic Cat to schedule a free repair. Arctic Cat can be contacted at 800-279-6851 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday or online at www.arcticcat.com and then click on Product Recall for more information.

This is a small recall but unique in that it is more a recall of the winch accessory than the vehicle themselves as the recalled winches outnumber the recalled vehicles 10 to 1.

The following are the recall details from the Consumer Product Safety Commission

Name of product:  Arctic Cat ROVs with winches

Hazard:  The winch solenoid located under the operator seat can overheat, posing a fire hazard.

Remedy:  Repair

Recall date: November 16, 2017

Recall number:  18-037
Recall Details

Description:  This recall involves all 2017 Arctic Cat Wildcat Trail SE (Special Edition) and Wildcat Sport SE  ROVs with winch solenoids installed as original equipment and winch accessory kits sold separately for use on 2014 through 2017Arctic Cat Wildcat Sport and Wildcat Trail ROVs.  The ROVs have four wheels, side-by-side seating for two people, and have a black chassis. “Wildcat Trail” or “Wildcat Sport” is printed on each side of the vehicle. In addition, Special Edition ROVs have “SE” printed on each side.

Remedy:  Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled ROVs and contact Arctic Cat to schedule a free repair. Arctic Cat is contacting all known purchasers directly.

Incidents/Injuries:  The firm has received 49 reports of winch solenoid failure, with five resulting in fires. No injuries have been reported.

Sold At:  Arctic Cat dealers nationwide from February 2017 through August 2017 for about $17,000 for the ROVs with the winch accessory kits installed. The winch accessory kits were also sold separately from December 2013 through August 2017 for between $200 and $600.

Manufacturer(s):  Arctic Cat Inc., of Thief River Falls, Minn., a subsidiary of Textron Specialized Vehicles, of Augusta, Ga.

Manufactured In:  United States

Units:  About 300 ROVs and 3,000 winch accessory kits (In addition, 124 were sold in Canada)

Learn more:  CPSC.gov

Polaris Recalls General UTVs

2016 Polaris General 1000

The 2016 Polaris General 1000 is being recalled.

2017 Polaris General 4 1000

This 4-seat 2017 Polaris General 4 1000 is being recalled as well.

Polaris announced the recall of model year 2016 and 2017 General two and four seat side-by-sides. The steering wheel shaft can shift and detach while in use, resulting in a loss of control and crash hazard. Approximately 19,000 units are involved in the recall. Consumers should stop using the vehicles and contact Polaris for a free repair.

This is another large recall for Polaris and a different mechanical issue as well. In addition, the recall pertains to their General crossover line that has been selling well since its introduction. The previous large recalls were for their Ranger and RZR products. Given the model years involved, these vehicles were likely built before the company instituted new processes and added more people to improve vehicle quality and track safety issues faster. Assuming the changes are effective, another year or two may be needed before the company completely works through any legacy quality issues across their extensive product lineup.

The following recall information is from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Name of product:  Polaris General side-by-side recreational off-highway vehicles (ROVs)

Hazard:  The steering wheel shaft can shift and detach while in use, resulting in a loss of control and crash hazard.

Recall date:  October 30, 2017

Recall number:  18-018

Consumer Contact:  Polaris at 800-765-2747 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT Monday through Friday or online at www.polaris.com and click on “Off Road Safety Recalls” for more information. In addition, consumers can check vehicle identification numbers (VIN) on the “Product Safety Recalls” page to see if your vehicle is included in any recalls.

Recall Details

Description:  This recall involves model year 2016 and 2017 Polaris General 2- and 4-seat side-by-side recreational off-highway vehicles. The vehicles were sold in black, blue, camouflage, orange, red, silver and white and have a cargo box on the back. “Polaris” is printed on the front grill, “GENERAL” is printed on the rear panel and “1000” is printed on the front panel. The VIN is printed on the left rear vehicle frame below the cargo box.

Remedy:  Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled ROVs and contact Polaris to schedule a free repair. Polaris is contacting all known purchasers directly.

Incidents/Injuries:  Polaris has received five reports of the steering shaft separating and one report of a broken hand injury.

Sold At:  Polaris dealers nationwide from December 2015 through September 2015 for between $16,000 and $21,000.

Manufacturer(s):  Polaris Industries Inc., of Medina, Minn.

Manufactured In:  U.S. and Mexico

Units:  About 19,000

Textron Recalls Arctic Cat Wildcat Trail & Sport UTVs

2014 Arctic Cat Wildcat Trail

This 2014 Arctic Cat Wildcat Trail is part of the recall.

Textron Specialized Vehicles, which acquired Arctic Cat earlier this year, has announced the recall of model year 2014 to 2017 Arctic Cat Wildcat Trail side-by-sides and model year 2015 to 2017 Arctic Cat Wildcat Sport side-by-sides. Heat from the vehicle’s exhaust can melt the plastic panels behind the operator and passenger seats and pose a fire hazard. The recall involves approximately 14,100 units in the US, 5,300 in Canada and 100 in Mexico of the two seat side-by-sides. Consumers should stop using the vehicles and contact Arctic Cat to schedule a free repair.

This is a large recall compared to what we usually see in the market, which is typically several thousand and less frequently more than 10,000 vehicles. Textron only recently acquired Arctic Cat and is still integrating the business into their Textron Specialized Vehicles division. They are keeping the Arctic Cat name for the Wildcat products under their newly formed Textron Off Road brand. Management is probably not thrilled with this unanticipated and added expense related to the acquisition.

The following are the recall details from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Name of product:  Arctic Cat recreational off-highway vehicles (ROVs)
Hazard:  Heat from the exhaust can melt the plastic panels behind the operator and passenger seat, posing a fire hazard.
Recall date:  October 27, 2017
Recall number:  18-017
Consumer Contact:  Arctic Cat at 800-279-6851 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday or online at www.arcticcat.com and click on Product Recall for more information.

 

Recall Details

Description:  This recall involves all model year 2014 through 2017 Wildcat Trail and 2015 through 2017 Wildcat Sport models of Arctic Cat ROVs. The recalled vehicles were sold in multiple colors, have four wheels and side-by-side seating for two people. “Wildcat Trail” or “Wildcat Sport” is printed on each side of the vehicle.

Remedy:  Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled ROVs and contact Arctic Cat to schedule a free repair. Arctic Cat is contacting all known purchasers directly. If you need assistance locating an authorized dealer to conduct this repair, contact Arctic Cat.

Incidents/Injuries:  The firm has received 444 reports of the plastic panels melting, with five resulting in fires. No injuries have been reported.

Sold At:  Arctic Cat dealers nationwide from December 2013 through August 2017 for between $10,500 and $19,500.

Manufacturer(s):  Arctic Cat Inc., of Thief River Falls, Minn., a subsidiary of Textron Specialized Vehicles, of Augusta, Ga.

Manufactured In:  U.S.

Units:  About 14,100 (In addition, 5,300 were sold in Canada and 100 in Mexico)

Learn more:  CPSC.gov

UPS to Use Golf Cars for Residential Deliveries in Kentucky

UPS golf cara

A UPS delivery golf car in use in another state.

The United Parcel Service is planning on using golf cars to deliver packages in residential areas in Kentucky. The state government recently passed a law that will allow the use of golf cars or low speed vehicles for commercial delivery in residential areas.

The plan is to use the vehicles during the peak November to January delivery season, with Louisville as a potential location. The golf car or LSV would be stored in the neighborhood in a portable storage unit, and packages would be delivered to the unit as well. A driver would then deliver packages to the local neighborhood. The vehicles would be modified to carry packages and bear a UPS logo.

Teamsters Local 89 is against the plan because the drivers would be paid less than the traditional truck drivers. UPS confirmed that seasonal workers, who are paid less, will be used. According to the company, they already use golf cars for deliveries in Georgia, South Carolina and Florida. Learn more:  Bizjournals.com ;  Vehicle in use (youtube)

Comment:  A good example of how LSVs, golf cars and UTVs can be used in niche applications to improve efficiency and lower costs. Why use a full-size delivery truck when a much smaller and possibly electric powered vehicle can be used? I suspect this vehicle application is most efficient during the peak season when package volume is high in certain neighborhoods.

Marc Cesare, Smallehicleresource.com

GEM Recalls Certain 2016-17 Models

The 2016 GEM e2.

Polaris Industries recently announced a recall of certain model year 2016 and 2017 GEM electric vehicles because lug nuts on the front wheels can loosen and the front wheels potentially detach. The recall pertains to certain GEM E2, E4, E6 and ELXD models with steel wheels. As many as 1,254 vehicles may be affected. GEM will notify owners and is currently finalizing a remedy.

Given their recall troubles in the side-by-side market, this is unwelcome news for Polaris. While the number of vehicles affected pales in comparison to the massive RZR and Ranger recalls, it is a sizable chunk of their total annual sales of GEMs. Only a few thousand GEMs are sold annually. The 2016 model year GEMs represented a major relaunching of the line. Earlier this year there was another recall for these vehicles related to the drive mode switch.

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

The following information is from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

April 26, 2017 NHTSA CAMPAIGN NUMBER: 17V279000

Front Steel Wheel Lug Nuts may Loosen
If a wheel separates from the vehicle, it can increase the risk of a crash.

NHTSA Campaign Number: 17V279000

Manufacturer Polaris Industries, Inc.

Components WHEELS

Potential Number of Units Affected 1,254

Summary

Polaris Industries, Inc. (Polaris) is recalling certain 2016-2017 GEM E2, E4, E6, and ELXD electric vehicles, equipped with steel wheels. The lug nuts on the front wheels may loosen, potentially resulting in a front wheel detaching from the vehicle.

Remedy

GEM will notify owners. The manufacturer has not yet finalized a remedy plan, nor provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact GEM Consumer Service Department at 1-855-743-3436. Polaris’ number for this recall is L-17-01.

Notes

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

8 Affected Products
Vehicles

MAKE MODEL YEAR

GEM E2 2016-2017
GEM E4 2016-2017
GEM E6 2016-2017
GEM ELXD 2016-2017

Another Polaris Recall: RZR, RZR Turbo & GENERAL Vehicles

The model year 2017 is the General 1000 EPS Hunter Edition in Polaris Pursuit Camo is one of the vehicles involved in the recall.

Polaris announced a recall of model year 2016 and 2017 RZR 900, 1000, Turbo and GENERAL 1000 utility vehicles. The recall involves approximately 13,500 vehicles. According to the notice, “The vehicle engine can misfire and the temperatures of the exhaust and nearby components can get too hot and cause the components to melt, and/or a contaminated brake master cylinder may cause unintended brake drag, posing burn and fire hazards.”

Relative to more recent Polaris recalls this one is not that large, but compared to more typical recalls in the industry that involve a few thousand vehicles, this is a large recall. The recall does include RZR 900, 1000 and RZR Turbo models that have previously been recalled. The GENERAL 1000 being involved in a recall is a new development.

Based on recent quarterly earnings calls with Wall Street analysts, the management has put a lot of money and manpower into fixing the underlying product development issues that lead to their recent massive RZR and Ranger recalls. The origin of the issues for this latest recall probably pre-date these efforts, but management is likely disappointed with this development as they have been trying to put these recalls behind them and repair damage to the Polaris brand. A recent report from BMO Capital Markets states that the recall is considered a ‘non-event’ by dealers who are having strong start to the year and think the recall will only have a ‘minimal impact’.

The following information is from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Recall Details

Units:  About 13,500 (The RZR Turbo and RZR 900 and 1000 have previously been recalled.)

Description:  This recall involves model year 2016 and 2017 RZR 900, 1000, Turbo and GENERAL 1000 recreational off-road vehicles (ROVs). “Polaris” is printed on the front grill and “RZR” or “GENERAL” is printed on the side of the rear cargo area. The ROVs were sold in various colors. Visit the CPSC website see a complete list of the models involve.

Incidents/Injuries:  Polaris has received 14 reports of vehicles catching fire related to the brake master cylinder and one report of fire and two reports of melting vehicle components related to an engine misfire. No injuries have been reported.

Remedy:  Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled ROVs and contact Polaris for a free repair. Polaris is contacting all known purchasers directly, and consumers can check their VIN on the Polaris website.

Sold At:  Polaris dealers nationwide from August 2015 through February 2017 for between $12,800 and $24,000.

Importer(s):  Polaris Industries Inc., of Medina, Minn.

Distributor(s):  Polaris Industries Inc., of Medina, Minn.

Manufactured In:  Mexico and U.S.

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

Self-Driving Vehicles = Growth For STOVs?

Google Prototype self-driving low-speed vehicle.

My colleague recently penned an article exploring the nexus of self-driving cars and golf car-type vehicles. Some of the key takeaways:

  • Hardware costs are dropping precipitously and may soon be within striking distance of being affordable for golf car type vehicles.
  • Golf car manufacturers are already exploring the technology and in some cases conducting testing.
  • Other companies are using GEM vehicles as self-driving test vehicles.
  • Gated communities with low speed vehicles provide a lower complexity environment that is more conducive to self-driving solutions.
  • Self-driving technology could expand potential growth avenues in non-golf car markets, an area of focus for golf car manufacturers

The article points to gated communities and urban fleets as potential market segments for deployment of self-driving technology. There are also other potential market impacts not addressed in the article that this technology can have.

For one, self-driving technology could provide an impetus for LSVs sales in the personal transportation sector. Purpose made LSVs have not quite reached their potential in this segment due to the relative cost of LSVs compared to the available market alternatives such as used golf cars, golf cars modified to be LSV compliant, customized golf cars and new golf cars. Put simply, not enough customers have found the additional price of LSVs to be worth the additional benefits. LSVs for personal transportation have done best where local regulations have favored them such as where golf cars or modified golf cars are not allowed on public roads but LSVs are, or where night time driving or other driving restrictions require LSV compliant technology.

Self-driving technology could be a differentiator for personal transportation LSVs. Since they are higher priced, LSVs are likely to feature self-driving technology before traditional golf cars. While it is possible existing golf cars could be retrofitted with self-driving technology, it may prove cost prohibitive and, more importantly, likely to encounter regulatory issues. It’s one thing to slap on some lights and an auto-style windshield, it’s quite another to install the software and hardware components necessary to create a self-driving vehicle, not to mention supporting the system with updates moving forward.

Regulatory issues brings to mind another consideration in regard to self-driving technology, medium speed vehicles (MSVs). While a few states in the US allow medium speed vehicles, at the Federal level NHTSA has never created a MSV classification and, in fact, has strongly opposed the idea on safety grounds. A MSV would require prohibitively expensive safety features akin to a highway capable vehicle.

Can self-driving change this dynamic? It is a possibility worth considering. In January, 2017 NHTSA completed their investigation (PDF file) of Tesla’s Autopilot and Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) system, which was initiated following a fatal crash of a Tesla with a tractor trailer in Florida. Their conclusion was that, “A safety-related defect trend has not been identified at this time and further examination of this issue does not appear to be warranted.” However, for the purposes of this discussion, the most important finding of the report was related to Tesla vehicles before and after they had Tesla’s Autopilot Technology Package (ATP) installed at purchase or through updates. “The data show that the Tesla vehicles crash rate dropped by almost 40 percent after Autosteer installation.”

This is an astonishing drop, and even more so considering it does not take into account whether Autopilot was in use. Therefore, this improvement is likely a conservative finding. The question is straightforward. Can MSVs use self-driving technology to make them safe enough to pass NHTSA’s regulatory rigor? Why rely on a package of older and likely more expensive safety technology to improve MSV safety when a potentially cheaper and possibly more effective solution is on the horizon. It may soon be time to revisit the possibility of creating an MSV classification, which could open up a range of potential growth markets.

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

BRP Recalls Can-Am Defender UTVs

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

2016 Can-Am Defender

The 2016 Can-Am Defender is part of the recall.

BRP has issued a recall for about 780 model year 2016 Can-Am Defender utility vehicles because the vehicles can unexpectedly roll away when in the “park” position. The recall includes Defender, Defender DPS and Defender XT models. Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled vehicles and contact a BRP dealer to schedule a free repair.

This recall is on the small size compared to what is typical in the industry. Luckily, no injuries have been reported.

The following information is from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Recall Details

Units:  About 780

Description:

This recall involves model year 2016 Can-Am Defender, Defender DPS, and Defender XT model side-by-side off-road vehicles. The vehicles were sold in various colors and have four tires, two seats and a cargo box on the back. “Can-am” is printed on the side of the cargo box and the model name is printed on the side of the front of the vehicle beside the headlight. The model name and vehicle identification number (VIN) are printed on a label under the glove box. Contact BRP or a BRP dealer to verify VINs included in the recall.

Incidents/Injuries:  The firm has received six reports of the vehicles moving when in the “park” or “P” position. No injuries have been reported.

Remedy:  Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled vehicles and contact a BRP dealer to schedule a free repair. BRP is contacting all known purchasers directly.

Sold At:  Can-Am dealers nationwide from October 2015 through December 2016 for between $10,000 and $15,700.

Importer(s):  BRP U.S. Inc., of Sturtevant, Wis.

Manufactured In:  Mexico

Consumer Contact:  BRP toll-free at 888-272-9222 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET any day or online at www.can-am.brp.com and click on the Off-Road website and then the “Owners” tab at the top of the page and then “Safety” and then “View Notices” for more information.

Polaris GEM Issues Recall

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

Polaris GEM e2

The 2016 GEM e2 is part of the recall.

GEM, owned by Polaris, has issued a recall for 2016-2017 e2, e4, e6, and eL XD models because the drive mode switch can send an incorrect signal, causing the vehicle to go in the opposite direction than intended. This is a fairly large recall for GEM in relation to their annual sales. It seems few Polaris brands can escape recall issues of late.

The following information is from NHTSA.

Campaign Number: 16V884000

Manufacturer Polaris Industries, Inc.

Components ELECTRICAL SYSTEM

Potential Number of Units Affected 1,644

Summary

Polaris Industries, Inc. (Polaris) is recalling certain 2016-2017 GEM e2, e4, e6, and eL XD electric vehicles manufactured May 29, 2015, to November 18, 2016. The drive mode switch can send an incorrect signal, causing the vehicle to go in the opposite direction than intended.

Remedy

Polaris will notify owners, and dealers will replace the drive switch, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in December 2016. Owners may contact GEM Consumer Service Department at 1-855-743-3436. Polaris’ number for this recall is L-16-01.

Notes

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.