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Multiple Failures Prompt Utility Vehicle Recall


After 702 incidents involving three separate failures, a total of about 80,000 Kawasaki MULE PRO off-highway utility vehicles have been recalled, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. 

First of all, ice can block the breather hose, allowing oil to leak, posing a fire hazard. In addition, debris can ignite on the vehicle’s exhaust manifold. Kawasaki has received 165 reports of oil leakage, and 84 reports of vehicles catching on fire, including two incidents where operators were burned, and another suffering smoke inhalation. Property damage claims, beyond the cost of damage to the vehicles, exceeds $131,000. 

The vehicles pose a separate third hazard, in which steering control is affected due to excessive wear on the steering shaft, posing a crash hazard. Kawasaki has received 453 incident reports due to the steering problem, with no injuries reported. 

The fire hazard defect applies to Kawasaki MULE PRO-FX, PRO-FXR and PRO-FXT in model years 2015 through 2020. The affected 72,000 vehicles were sold between July 2014 and December 2019. The crash hazard applies to the above-mentioned models and model years, as well as 2016-2020 MULE PRO-DX and MULE PRO-DXT. The steering shaft defect is present on 80,000 units sold between July 2014 and January 2020. For a full list of affected model codes and VINs see recall notice 20-726 and 20-727

Facility managers with these vehicles in their fleet should stop using them immediately and contact a Kawasaki dealer for a free repair. Kawasaki can be reached at 866-802-9381 and online. 

Naomi Millán is senior editor of Building Operating Management. Go here for other recent recall notices.

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