A nationwide recall of 13,000 off-road vehicles is to be launched by car manufacturer, Polaris Industries, after an investigation revealed asbestos-laden parts in at least 12 models.
The recall of certain Polaris youth quad bikes, sold in Australia and New Zealand, was prompted by recent testing in the US, which identified asbestos in brake pads, brake shoes, gaskets and washers in some models.
"Polaris is recalling certain youth all-terrain vehicles [ATVs] and associated service parts in Australia and select other countries because we believe they contain asbestos, which is banned in these jurisdictions (since 2004)," said Polaris country manager Alan Collins.
"Polaris has been working and continues to work collaboratively with the appropriate authorities in each jurisdiction, including the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), to quickly develop the appropriate remedy for these vehicles."
About 13,000 Polaris quad bikes are believed to have been supplied in Australia since 2001.
Affected Polaris models: Scrambler 50; Predator 50; Outlaw 50; Scrambler 90; Predator 90; Outlaw 90; Outlaw 110; Sportsman 90; Sportsman 110; Phoenix 200; Sawtooth 200; Ace 150 produced between 2001 to 2017.
The ACCC understands Polaris only recently became aware of the presence of asbestos in some of its quad bikes.
"Fortunately, the advice we have currently received indicates the presence of asbestos in the quad bike parts is unlikely to present a safety risk while riding the quad bike," said ACCC acting chairwoman Delia Rickard.
Ms Rickard said any asbestos was more likely to present a safety risk to owners who conducted their own mechanical work (such as farmers), and to professionals who repair and service quad bikes.
Mr Collins said third-party expert testing had concluded that riding the affected quad bikes "does not result in asbestos exposure to the rider, and third-party expert review has concluded that servicing gaskets found in the affected vehicles does not pose a threat to health".
In 2015, the ACCC issued a recall on asbestos-laden counterfeit brake pads designed to fit Toyota Hilux utes and Hiace vans, after it was discovered they were being sold illegally in Australia.
Before that - in 2012 - almost 25,000 Great Wall and Chery Chinese cars were recalled by Ateco Automotive when asbestos was found in the engine and exhaust gaskets.
Customers with concerns should contact Polaris directly. The formal recall notice with further information will published as soon as it is available on www.productsafety.gov.au
This story first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.