Polaris Industries and Arctic Cat separately recalled thousands of off-road recreational vehicles in the last few days, noting that consumers should stop riding the affected models immediately and take them for repairs.
Arctic Cat, which has factories in Thief River Falls, Minn., and is owned by Rhode Island-based Textron Inc., recalled 14,100 of its Wildcat Trail, model years 2014 to 2017, and Wildcat Sport, model years 2015 to 2017. It received 444 complaints that the vehicles' heat exhaust had melted plastic panels behind driver and passenger seats. Five fires, but no injuries, were reported, according to a Consumer Product Safety Commission report issued on Friday.
Arctic Cat previously recalled 4,600 four-wheelers in August 2016 due to throttle cable problems. It recalled 20,700 snowmobiles in January amid cracked fuel tank concerns and another 2,700 in June due to a drive clutch problem.
On Monday, Polaris Industries recalled more than 19,000 of its off-road Polaris General vehicles, bringing that company's recall total to more than 450,000 vehicles over three years.
In its latest notice to federal regulators, the Medina-based maker of recreational four-wheelers, snowmobiles, motorcycles and accessories recalled 19,000 of its two- and four-seat Polaris General vehicles. The model years are 2016 and 2017.
Polaris issued the recall after receiving five complaints from riders about steering shafts that shifted and detached during use. The company received one report of a broken hand, officials said.
Vehicle owners were advised to stop riding the vehicles immediately and take them into dealerships for a free repair. The Polaris General vehicles were made in the United States and Mexico and cost between $16,000 and $21,000.
Separately, Polaris announced last Wednesday that it is also recalling an unknown quantity of its 2018 RZR XP4 Turbo vehicles because of a "mis-assembled" fuel connection that could potentially lead to a fuel leak and fire.
News of the RZR recalls were posted on Polaris' website on Oct. 25. As of Monday morning, however, the recalls had not yet been posted on the Consumer Product Safety Commission website that normally advises consumers of product issues.
In the meantime, Polaris said it "has identified the potentially affected vehicles and is notifying dealers and contacting consumers by mail (and e-mail if available)."
The recalls follow news last week that Polaris' restructuring plan appeared to be gaining traction and its recall warranty issues were lessening in scope.
Polaris reported much improved results for the third quarter. The results were helped by the acquisition of the Transamerican Auto Parts retail chain and by significant improvements to off-road vehicle sales, officials had said.
Shares in the company's stock shot up 15 percent last week to $123.18 per share, the highest level seen in two years. On Monday, the stock fell slightly to $117.24 a share.
Textron stock fell slightly to $52.59 a share. The stock is up 5 percent since the beginning of the year.
Dee DePass • 612-673-7725