Polaris has begun contacting snowmobile customers to alert them of a fire hazard associated with certain snowmobile models and urging them to stop riding immediately.
In a “safety ride notice” issued August 30, Polaris informed owners that it is waiting for the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission to approve a repair procedure for MATRYX snowmobiles with model years 2021-23, AXYS snowmobiles with model year 2015-22, and Trail Performance (Pro-Ride) snowmobiles from 2013-14.
According to the email alert:
“We have determined that with degraded fuel, and especially after extended storage, some snowmobiles may pose a risk of fire due to electrostatic discharge (ESD) inside the fuel tank. Under specific conditions, vapors may be ignited inside the fuel tank, posing a potential injury hazard to consumers. Polaris has voluntarily reported this matter to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.”
Owners are told to stop riding until a satisfactory repair is approved by the CPSC; owners who must start their snowmobile are instructed to insure the fuel tank is full before operating.
This is not the off-road vehicle company’s first experience with the CPSC. In 2020, Polaris recalled 41,200 AXYS snowmobiles due to a fire hazard caused by a defective fuel hose.
In 2018, Polaris paid a $27.25 million fine for its failure to report defective off-road vehicles to the CPSC. Again, the reason for the eventual recall was a fire hazard; on that occasion, the vehicle defects caused 150 fires, resulting in 11 injuries, a fire that burned 10 acres of land, and a fire resulting in the death of a 15-year-old child.
Owners in the most recent Polaris recall were told they will receive further notice on a repair process.
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