The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration officially posted two recalls for the Polaris Slingshot and Slingshot SL. As previously reported, the separate recalls relate to a problem with the steering system and with roll hoops that do not meet Polaris’ specifications. NHTSA’s recall announcements include documentation that provides more details about the two problems.
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In some Slingshots, the elements of the upper pinion bearing in the steering rack may not have received the proper heat treatment during production and may therefore be unable to withstand the higher loads required for slow-speed operation. This may cause the upper pinion bearing to fail unexpectedly, allowing the pinion to move without being engaged with the steering rack, causing a loss of steering control.
Polaris first discovered the issue on Dec. 29 after a customer reported loss of steering control while maneuvering at slow speeds. On Jan. 6, a Slingshot in Polaris’ possession produced an abnormal noise. Polaris then contacted the part supplier and began an investigation. Metallurgical analysis of a faulty bearing determined insufficient heat treatment may be the root of the problem.
On Jan. 14, Polaris received a third report from a customer. As of Jan. 15, Polaris was still continuing its investigation but decided to proceed with a safety recall.
Polaris dealers will replace the steering rack assembly using a bearing provided by a different supplier.
Meanwhile, Polaris also discovered the roll hoops on some Slingshot vehicles may not meet the proper hardness specification. In the result of a rollover crash, the roll hoops may not provide the proper protection, increasing the risk of an injury.
Slingshot dealers will replace the roll hoops on affected vehicles.
The steering recall affects 1,896 vehicles while the roll hoop recall affects 1,577 vehicles.