Whether you drive a truck, a side-by-side, or a boat, vehicle recalls happen all the time. But what does it really mean when a machine has been recalled? And are recalls always a bad thing?
These are all valid questions, and ones you should be aware of in order to keep your ATV or UTV as safe as possible! Read on to learn why manufacturers issue recall notices and what to do if they issue one for your machine.
In the simplest terms, a UTV or ATV recall means something is wrong with the machine that needs to be fixed. A recall is issued when the manufacturer determines that a vehicle presents a higher-than-usual safety risk or that it fails to meet the minimum safety standards.
After issuing a recall, the manufacturer is required to fix the machine, whether that is through a repair or replacement. Some companies may even offer the customer a full refund for the cost of the machine.
According to a report by the Consumer Federation of America, 110 off-highway vehicles (OHVs) were recalled between January 1, 2010 and February 3, 2020. These recalls involved 19 manufacturers and affected 1,474,093 individual machines.
There are several reasons why an OHV might be recalled. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), nearly half of the recalls that occurred from 2010 to 2020 were due to fire-related hazards. These incidents included leaking fuel hose, cracked exhaust pipe, failed firewall, and more.
The second and third most common reasons for recalls were throttle and brake hazards. Altogether, these top three causes accounted for nearly 70% of all UTV/ATV recalls during that decade.
Obviously, you don’t want to get behind the wheel of a machine if it’s a fire hazard or if the brakes or steering could go out at any minute. Recalling an ATV or UTV allows the manufacturer to ensure that their machines are as safe as possible.
It might be annoying to learn that you need to get your machine to the shop ASAP—all that time getting repairs equates to lost riding time. But being aware of current recalls and taking care of them only serves to keep you and your passengers safe.
All in all, ORV recalls are a machine manufacturer’s means of taking responsibility for any defects and correcting the problem.
That’s a great question! Knowing that recalled vehicles can be pretty dang dangerous to drive, we don’t blame you for wanting to know whether yours is safe.
There are a few places to look for recall information, the most obvious being the manufacturer’s website. Each company has a recall page on their website that lists all current and former recall notices. Here are some quick links to help with your search:
Most of these sites let you search by either model number or VIN. (Not sure where to find your VIN? We can help with that! Check out this article on how to find your vehicle’s Vehicle Identification Number.)
Another option is to check the CPSC’s recall page to see if anything has been shared regarding your machine. Consumer Affairs also keeps an updated list of all ATV and UTV recall notices. Both websites make it very easy to search for a specific make and model.
Finding out whether your ATV or UTV has been recalled is easy enough, but if your vehicle registration is up to date, the task is even easier. The manufacturer will make an effort to contact you individually as long as your contact information is current.
(Allow us to take this moment to emphasize the importance of keeping your ATV or UTV registration up to date. This means updating your address or phone number if it has changed!)
The first (and most important) thing you should do in case of a recall is to stop driving the vehicle immediately. Remember that recalls are done in the name of safety, so continuing to drive an ATV or UTV that has been recalled could be putting yourself and any passengers in danger.
The good news: you shouldn’t have to fork over any cash to get the recall taken care of. The manufacturer is responsible for all repair costs, meaning all you have to do is take it to a dealership and they’ll repair it for free! Your vehicle’s manufacturer will reimburse the dealership to cover the cost of repairs.
That’s all there is to it! Schedule some repairs, get your rig to a dealership, and wait patiently (or not so patiently… we know you’re itching to get back on the trails) to get your ride back.
It might be annoying to learn that you need to bring riding to a halt and turn your machine over to the dealership for awhile. Trust us—we value our ride time as much as the next guy!
But we also understand the importance of off-road safety. That’s why we urge riders to keep an eye on current UTV and ATV recalls and make sure their machine is always in the safest condition possible.
Still have questions about ORV recalls? Drop a comment below!