On the heels of a string of large recalls of UTVs, Polaris Industries has issued a recall of approximately 42,500 model year 2014 Ranger 900 vehicles. The heat shield on the vehicle can fall off and create fire and burn hazards to riders. The recall includes Ranger XP 900, Ranger XP 900 EPS and Ranger Crew 900 vehicles, which come in various colors. The following information is from the Consumer Products Safety Commission.
Units: About 42,500
Description: This recall involves all model year 2014 Polaris Ranger XP 900, XP 900 EPS, and CREW 900 recreational off-highway vehicles (ROVs). The recalled ROVs were sold in a variety of colors and have either three or six seats and a rear box. “Ranger” is printed on the rear box, and “900” is printed on the hood of the ROVs. All 2014 Ranger 900 models and Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs) are included in this recall. To check for recalled vehicles by VIN, visit www.polaris.com.
Incidents/Injuries: Polaris has received 36 reports of the recalled ROVs overheating and catching on fire, including reports of three minor burns and one sprained wrist.
Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled ROVs and contact Polaris to schedule a free repair. Polaris is contacting all known purchasers directly.
Sold at: Polaris dealers nationwide from April 2013 through June 2014 for between $13,200 and $16,200.
Importer(s): Polaris Industries Inc., of Medina, Minn.
Distributor(s): Polaris Industries Inc., of Medina, Minn.
Manufactured in: U.S. and Mexico
Comment: Polaris just lowered their financial guidance for the rest of the fiscal year because of existing recall issues and I’m sure this won’t help the situation. I think the larger issue with these recent recalls is that they potentially point to an underlying design flaw in the vehicles. In turn, this may reveal an underlying problem in their product development process that allowed the design issue to make it into production.
In the long term the sheer number of vehicles and recalls could have a negative impact on the brand. In the short and medium term, depending on how long it takes to clean up the problem in the product development process, there may be an impact on the rate of new vehicle introductions by Polaris. This has been a competitive advantage for Polaris as they produce a large range of vehicles in terms of price points and feature sets. Management frequently refers to their “armada” of models. This is important in the UTV market where an extensive and differentiated product line can target a diverse range of end use applications at a range of price points.