The bad news for recreational vehicles rolls on. First, it was Polaris Industries recalling 327 Ranger recreational off-highway vehicles last week due to manufacturing defects in the throttle that could cause drivers to lose control and injure themselves or others. That recall was followed up by a much larger recall of the John Deere Gator utility vehicle, as 4,650 of these off-highway vehicles were targeted by Deere & Company and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission because of a potential defect in the fuel line that could lead to very dangerous fires. And now, manufacturer BRP Mexico S.A. de C.V. has joined the recall fray with the equally popular – and considerably more expensive – Can-Am Commander side-by-side off-road vehicles.
As of the CSPC’s announcement, BRP Mexico is recalling approximately 3,400 Commanders because of a manufacturing failure involving the steering column. Ultimately, the CSPC and BRP Mexico are reporting that the steering columns were assembled improperly in regard to the rack and pinion. Because of this, a driver could potentially experience loss of control of the Commander, resulting in an accident and, worse, injury or even death. So far, the CSPC is aware of three reports of steering loss; however, there have fortunately been no injuries reported as of yet.
Affected in this recall are the 2011 Commander 800 and 1000, XT 800R and 1000, and X 1000 models, as well as the 2012 Commander 800 and 1000, XT 800 and 1000, X 1000, and Limited 1000 models. The Commander off-road vehicles were sold from April 2011 through December 2012 at Can-Am dealers throughout the U.S. for between $11,700 and $21,000.
The CPSC and BRP Mexico are urging owners of the affected Commander vehicles to stop using them immediately and to contact a BRP dealer to schedule a free inspection and repair. BRP has also already started notifying registered Commander owners directly about this recall; however, concerned consumers can contact the company directly at (888) 638-5397.