Polaris Inc. told customers Tuesday to bring certain snowmobile models to authorized dealers and have them fixed because of a fire hazard from degraded fuel in gas tanks, especially after extended storage.
The fuel tank issues have led to 30 gas tank ruptures and 16 fires, Polaris said. One injury associated with the issue was reported.
The "stop ride/stop sale order" affects 230,000 of its snowmobiles globally, including those in the U.S., Canada and its other international markets. The Medina-based company said it is cooperating with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which is likely to issue a product recall after reviewing data.
The joint recall announcement may come in a couple of weeks. Polaris is alerting dealers and owners now so they can make repairs ahead of the prime snow season, the company said.
"We recognize this is frustrating and an inconvenience for our dealers and customers, but safety is the driver behind our decision and we are committed to making this right," said Jess Rogers, a Polaris spokeswoman via email.
The issue affects some Matryx vehicles in model years 2021 to 2023, Axys models from 2015 to 2022 and select Trail Performance snowmobiles from 2013 and 2014.
Polaris is testing a fix under a variety of conditions. Once the fix is fully validated, Polaris will alert owners and they can schedule a free repair.
"We are working quickly on a validated solution, so that dealers will be able to get snowmobiles into the hands of customers and our riders will be able to maximize the upcoming winter season," Rogers said.
In the meantime Polaris is recommending owners not ride their snowmobiles. If a machine does need to be started, the company advises that the tank be filled with fresh gasoline and that it is kept full.
Polaris has made five other recall notices this year affecting 58,485 off-road vehicles, including certain models of snowmobiles and off-road vehicles. The issues ranged from battery cables and throttle controls to steering wheels and fuel leaks.
Further information on those notices are available on the Polaris Product Safety page at www.polaris.com/en-us/recalls/.
It generally takes three to four weeks between a stop ride/stop sale announcement from Polaris and when the CPSC issues a recall notice.
The CPSC declined to comment on Polaris' announcement.
Polaris said its latest stop ride/stop sale notice on snowmobiles is unrelated to recalls due to fire risk between 2015 and 2018.
During that time, hundreds of thousands of Polaris vehicles were recalled. Polaris, which has been sued by customers and fined $27 million by a regulator for failing to report some fire incidents in a timely manner, has since invested heavily to identify and fix overheating problems and fire hazards. It also is under new top management.