Quad bike supplier Polaris has recalled 12 models from its youth range of products because asbestos was found in component parts.
The company’s US operations discovered the deadly material in brake pads, gaskets, washers and brake shoes, with approximately 13,000 affected quad bikes thought to currently be in Australia.
Asbestos is linked to a number of serious health conditions, including mesothelioma, which is almost always fatal. The average life expectancy for a patient diagnosed with the disease is just nine months in the country, according to figures from the Australian Mesothelioma Registry.
Even after aggressive treatment, people rarely live longer than two years after diagnosis. As such, the importation or use of asbestos in Australia has been banned since December 31 2003.
Quad bikes are ‘low risk’
Despite the presence of asbestos, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) claimed the health risks associated with riding Polaris quad bikes is small.
“The presence of asbestos in quad bike parts is considered more likely to present a safety risk to consumers who do home mechanical work on quad bikes they own, and to employees of businesses who repair and service quad bikes,” said ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard.
“Nonetheless, we are treating this issue extremely seriously and working closely with Polaris to gather all relevant information that enables a fast, efficient remediation of any bikes that contain these parts.”
The ACCC encouraged anyone who purchased one of the below models between December 31 2003 and 2017 to get in touch with their nearest authorised Polaris dealer:
The hazardous nature of asbestos caused the ACCC to trigger the Heads of Workplace Safety Authorities (HWSA) Imported Materials with Asbestos Working Group Rapid Response Protocol.
This ensures that key agencies are informed of the presence of asbestos in Australia and can work together in order to tackle the problem via a whole-of-government response.
Organisations within the HWSA working group include the ACCC, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, the Australian Border Force, Safe Work Australia and the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency.
People who are exposed to asbestos in the workplace and develop asbestosis, mesothelioma or other dust diseases may be entitled to compensation in NSW.
If you’d like to know more, please contact a member of our team at Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers.