Up to 13,000 Polaris youth quad bikes could be affected by asbestos which has prompted a nationwide recall.
Testing carried out in the US found asbestos in brake pads, brake shoes, washers and gaskets in 12 models of Polaris youth quad bikes manufactured between 2001 and 2017.
The models are advertised as suited for ages six and up.
Models affected by recall:
- Outlaw 50, 90 and 110
- Sportsman 90 and 110
- Phoenix 200
- Sawtooth 200
- Predator 50 and 90
- Scrambler 50 and 90
- Ace 150
Polaris Australia country manager Alan Collins said third party testing had identified traces of asbestos, but said the risk was very low for owners and operators.
“The research and very extensive testing that we’ve had completed … has come back that there were no asbestos fibres picked up in the air through the use of those vehicles,” he said.
“It’s an extremely low probability that those fibres could’ve been in the air and could’ve damaged the operator of the vehicle or anybody nearby to them.
“We’ve had similar testing also completed in relation to the technicians who may have serviced or repaired these vehicles over time, or also farmers that may do on farm self-servicing … and the testing will continue but the testing that’s been completed has come back as an extremely low hazard.”
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) acting chair Delia Rickard said risk of exposure to asbestos was higher for people who did home mechanical work on quad bikes, or people that repaired and serviced quad bikes.
“The recalled quad bikes should only be repaired by qualified personnel using appropriate safety procedures,” she said.
“Any materials containing asbestos must be disposed of at licensed facilities.”
Quad bikes can still be used but not sold or serviced
Mr Collins said they were investigating the root cause of the asbestos contamination and how it went unnoticed for so long.
“We source components from various parts of the globe,” he said.
“We are working very diligently at the moment to understand how this has happened and … to ensure there can be no repeats of it in future.”
Mr Collins said dealers were notified of the recall on Monday afternoon and users could expect to receive information in the coming days and weeks.
“You can continue to ride the machine,” he said.
“But we are instructing our dealers not to sell the products and we’re also asking our dealers not to service the products.
“In the near future will release some very specific instructions to our dealers about how they can go about removing the affected part safely.”
Mr Collins said the repair costs would be covered under warranty, while “discretionary” compensation for travel costs of owners in remote areas would be available on a “case by case” basis.