While it might not affect 11 million customers like Fiat-Chrysler’s 23 separate auto recalls, the consequences for those that own some John Deere tractors could be just as hazardous. The company has announced a recall on nearly 2,100 riding lawn tractors, including 370 in Canada, over a potential brake lever arm malfunction. According to a notice filed by the Consumer Products Safety Council (CSPC), the arm “can fail, posing a crash hazard that could result in serious injury or death.” The recall affects the D100 series of tractors, including the D110, D125, D130, D140, D155, D160 and D170 models, with serial numbers beginning with 1GXD. No deaths or injuries have been reported stemming from the malfunction.
The tractors and their components were manufactured in the U.S., with assembly plants in Wisconsin, Tennessee, and the Carolinas. Although the company conducts routine inspections at the plants, they also perform in-depth audits of certain parts. The company discovered during such an inspection that a certain number of the brake lever arms were not manufactured according to specifications. The tractors were sold between May and August 2015 at John Deere dealerships as well as at Lowes and Home Depot stores. The tractors are priced between $1,700 and $2700. The CSPC notice instructs consumers not to use the tractors until they schedule a free repair at a John Deere dealership. The company also announced that they will be contacting the owners of the recalled tractors personally. A John Deere spokesperson told Consumer Reports that dealers can usually repair the lever arm within 30 minutes.
Although maintaining a relatively clean track record in recent years, John Deere issued two recalls for the D100, D110, D120, and D130 models in September 2011. One recall involved the hardware that holds the brake assembly to the tractor’s deck, with some components breaking and causing a potential laceration hazard. The other recall was issued for the D100 model because the hardware connecting the brake assembly to the transmission could break, causing a loss of control. According to the CSPC, the latest recall is the Moline, Illinois-based company’s first appearance in the CSPC’s database since August, 2013. That recall involved about 7,000 tractors among 19 models of compact utility tractors in which the locking pins could fail on the vehicle’s rollover protection system (RPS), causing a safety hazard in the event of a fall.
Consumer Reports – Ed Perratore
Farms.com – Diego Flammini