Polaris has expanded a recall of its youth quad bikes found to contain asbestos but disputes claims by an ‘‘inside source’’ that the company is underplaying the issue.
The nationwide recall was prompted after the manufacturer ran tests in the United States which identified asbestos in brake pads, brake shoes, gaskets and washers in 12 of its youth models.
Polaris initially recalled 13000 vehicles imported into Australia but country manager Alan Collins said that number had increased by an additional 2000 vehicles.
‘‘We have voluntarily expanded the recall to include vehicles sold before the ban (on importing asbestos) took effect,’’ Mr Collins said.
But an unnamed source, reportedly from within Polaris, has told Fairfax Media the company is hiding the true figures with leaked documents allegedly showing 22654 vehicles were affected in Australia and 546309 around the world.
‘‘This week I discovered that not only have we lied about the recall count for the countries we’ve already approached, we’ve still been selling our asbestos-laden inventory to some countries since we first learned of this issue months ago,’’ the source told Fairfax Media.
Mr Collins said Polaris disputed that claim, with total recalled vehicles in Australia anticipated to be about 15000 units.
He said many media reports were false and based on inaccurate information and Polaris had stopped importing the affected vehicles to countries that ban asbestos.
Riding the affected ATVs is not likely to result in asbestos exposure to the rider, however, home maintenance on the affected parts may pose a risk, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has concluded.