At what point should a manufacturer extend the warranty past the agreed upon period? And at what point should a manufacturer cover repairs for a second owner? If it is a safety issue, the obligation is fairly clear, but what about mechanical issues?
Chad Hale, a customer service rep for a well-known company, asks these basic questions in the following;
â€œBack in 1995 I purchased four Polaris Indy XLT 600s. They have been really reliable sleds for the most part, other then one that blew a piston a year, or year and a half after I purchased it. Polaris was pretty reasonable in fixing it after a few phone calls. I have been riding ever since then and I was ready to move up to a bigger and more aggressive sled. So, I purchased a 2002 RMK 800. Beautiful sled , it only has 1600 miles on it, a brand new 151 inch track w/2 inch lugs from a 900. This sled is in mint condition. I purchased it (used) on 1-10-06. The individual I purchased it from said he has had not a minutes worth of problem with it on the mountain, BUY WITH CONFIDENCE IT WILL NOT DISAPPOINT.
I took it up to the Uintas that Saturday (the 14th) for the first time and the crank broke off. I took it to Mountain High Motor Sports in West Jordan, Utah and they stated to me that they have had at least 7-10 RMK 800s come through with the same problem. So the mechanic contacted Polaris, as I did. We told them the situation and that they have had 8 or so other sleds come through with the same problem, they stated that they have heard of the problems with them, and it has become a issue but not a big enough one to warrant a recall, but that they do acknowledge there is a problem with it. But since it is not within warranty time frame that I was just going to have to deal with it and pay for it myself. I just put out $5,000.00 for this sled that I thought I would be able to enjoy for many years to come, but now it will cost me $1600.00 dollars to fix it. Polaris says it is a problem, but not a big enough one to address. Well, to me it is 1600 reasons to address it so it doesn’t happen to some one else. But for me, mine will have to sit it the garage, when here in UTAH we have had a great snow season so far and I could be up on top of Bald Mountain with the sun baking my face and an ice cold beer in my hand.â€
A few thoughts here; the sled was bought second hand, not from a dealer. It was out of warranty. It possibly could have been bought with an extended engine warranty, that could have been extended to a second owner, but was not. Polaris is clearly aware of the frequency of this issue, as it was publicized in magazines and on the internet. We even published a â€œfixâ€ for the problem from Allsport Polaris in Spokane, Washington that reinforces the PTO end of the crank with extra bearing support area.