Not im­pressed with ATV

New Har­bour cou­ple claims use­less quad de­fec­tive

The Compass - - RECREATION - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON

Prior to buy­ing a new Po­laris all-ter­rain ve­hi­cle al­most four years ago, Clyde Burgess of New Har­bour kept a Yamaha three­wheeler go­ing for over 20 years.

“I was hop­ing this one would last me the rest of my life, but it never,” he said.

Con­sid­er­ing the count­less is­sues Clyde and his wife Lorraine have dealt with con­cern­ing his new Po­laris 2012 ATV Sports­man 400 over the last four years, he prob­a­bly wishes he made a dif­fer­ent choice with that pur­chase. They be­lieve the ve­hi­cle in their garage was de­fec­tive to be­gin with.

“It’s not just us — it’s a poor prod­uct,” Lorraine Burgess told The Com­pass dur­ing a re­cent in­ter­view at their home. “It’s a bad prod­uct, and I think Po­laris should stand be­hind their prod­ucts. If they make a bad prod­uct, they should do some­thing about it.”

Clyde pur­chased the new ATV in Novem­ber of 2011. The first year went along rel­a­tively smoothly, with some stan­dard ser­vic­ing looked af­ter. Clyde uses it for hunt­ing and to haul out fire­wood.

At the end of that first year, a belt went. In year two, rear wheel assem­bly was tended to. Then in Jan­uary 2014, the ATV wouldn’t start. From then un­til Septem­ber of that year, the ve­hi­cle went to-and-from the orig­i­nal Conception Bay North deal­er­ship where the Burgesses pur­chased it nu­mer­ous times.

An oil leak was fixed, a bendix drive for the starter re­placed, and new spark plugs in­stalled that Fe­bru­ary. It was sent back to the dealer five more times and still wouldn’t start when the Burgess stored it in the garage that spring.

Af­ter deal­ing with some work com­mit­ments, the Burgesses once again looked to get ATV fixed. The dealer re­placed the en­gine wiring har­ness and pro­vided the cou­ple with a $500 re­bate to­wards the cost of that job.

Short-lived use

Fi­nally, the ve­hi­cle was func­tional, and Clyde used it for a few months un­til a health is­sue arose in De­cem­ber, forc­ing him to store the ATV in the garage for the rest of the win­ter.

When he at­tempted to take it out again in May 2015, Clyde couldn’t get it out of the garage. He called a friend who took it out for a quick run.

“He came over and got it out and went for a run, and when he got her up in the yard, there was oil all over the place … Af­ter that, she never worked.”

By then, the pair spent over $2,500 on an ATV that orig­i­nally cost over $6,000 in­clud­ing taxes and ship­ping (it had a six­month war­ranty). The dealer said it would cost a fur­ther $2,700 to fix the ATV. Other me­chan­ics they took it too sug­gested it would be best to sell the ve­hi­cle for parts.

The dealer it­self con­tacted Po­laris about the ve­hi­cle, and even­tu­ally the Burgesses did the same.

“Fi­nally, the last per­son that called me back ( from Po­laris) said they were done with it,” said Lorraine. “They wouldn’t do any­thing. It was out of war­ranty and they weren’t re­spon­si­ble.”

It now sits in the cou­ple’s garage. Mean­while, they’re still mak­ing pay­ments on it.

“You can’t just keep throw­ing good money af­ter bad,” she said.

Last Tues­day, Clyde shared their story on Face­book. As of last Fri­day, it had re­ceived over 400 shares.

A spokes­woman for Po­laris told The Com­pass in an email the com­pany’s ser­vice team found the ma­jor­ity of items the ve­hi­cle re­quired were reg­u­lar main­te­nance items that would not have been cov­ered un­der war­ranty. She noted those re­quests were made “far be­yond the ma­chine’s war­ranty pe­riod. Other fail­ures were “most likely a re­sult of not do­ing nor­mal main­te­nance in­clud­ing oil,” she added.

PHOTO BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON/THE COM­PASS

Clyde Burgess feels he did not get his money’s worth when it comes to the Po­laris all-ter­rain ve­hi­cle he pur­chased in Novem­ber of 2011. For most of the last 20 months, it has not been work­ing.

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