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Polaris issues recall on ATVs

Polaris Industries and the Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled this week all 2015 and 2016 Sportsman 850 and 1000 model all-terrain vehicles due to a panel heat shield on the right side of the vehicle, which can melt and pose burn and fire hazards to riders.

As of last week, the company, which makes snowmobiles, motorcycles and off-road recreational vehicles, received at least 793 incident reports, including reports of warped, melted or burned side panels. This included 47 fires and four minor burn injuries.

The company saw a large drop in net earnings in fiscal year 2016 due to previous recalls.

The company, which was founded in Roseau and maintains a manufacturing facility in the town, reported in January a 4 percent drop in sales in fiscal year 2016 over the previous fiscal year.

The company's full-year adjusted net income for 2016 was down 50 percent from the previous fiscal year to $226.5 million.

This drop included $120 million in nonrecurring costs associated with warranty, legal and other recall-related activities.

In the January conference call, CEO Scott Wine said the company had completed 70 percent of the repairs on its 900 and 1000 model Polaris RZR vehicles, and 80 percent of its RZR Turbo vehicles.

In addition to the panel heat shield issues, the company also reported problems with the exhaust springs on the 2015 Sportsman 1000 ATVs. The springs can stretch and damage the exhaust seal, which can cause exhaust leaks and pose burn and fire hazards.

Kevin Killough

Kevin Killough is the business reporter for the Grand Forks Herald. You can reach him with story tips, comments and ideas at 701-780-1244.