Polaris Slingshot recalled because three-wheeler could become two-wheeler

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Polaris is recalling 2020-2021 Slingshot models for a potential wheel separation issue. The company reports that some rear axles may have shipped without wheel studs completely pressed into place, and this could cause the wheel to loosen while it is underway. Under extreme circumstances, the wheel could separate entirely.

While the jokes may write themselves, losing the only rear wheel on a three-wheeler is certainly no laughing matter. At the time Polaris filed its defect notification with the NHTSA, eight customers had filed warranty claims related to the issue. Fortunately, it appears to affect only a subset of Slingshots that were assembled with parts from a particular supplier:

"The difference between the recalled products and products not included in the recall," Polaris said, "is that the recalled products were built with rear axles/stud assemblies that have a higher likelihood of being assembled improperly due to poor equipment maintenance at the supplier."

"Polaris began an investigation, which included outreach to the component supplier," the company's report said. "Polaris learned that during the supplier’s press fit assembly process, a portion of the splines is stripped, which prevents the studs from being fully pressed/seated during assembly or when the lug nut is torqued. Over time, the lug nuts at the rear wheel can loosen."

The recall involves 4,744 vehicles. Owners will be notified if their Slingshots were built with the problematic rear axle and Polaris dealers will inspect and replace the entire assembly if it's found to be out-of-spec. Notices should go out to all owners by mid-October.

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