Deere & Co. is recalling 14,746 Gator-brand work utility vehicles sold in the U.S. over the last year. The Moline, Ill.-based manufacturer says the units have faulty brakes and could cause accidents. The buggies are common construction vehicles, shuttling workers and materials across jobsites.
|The Gator 4x2 and 4x4 is included in the recall, but not the 6x4 (shown). (Photo courtesy of Deere & Co.)|
The affected models fall into Deere's high-performance or "HPX" category of Gator buggies. They were sold in 4x2 and 4x4 drive configurations between December 2003 and October 2004, with list prices ranging from $8,000 to $10,600. Six-wheeled models with 6x4 drive are not included in the recall, according to the manufacturer.
Deere recorded 14 incidents of low brake pressure caused by a faulty piston in the master brake cylinder of some buggies. Owners can contact their local dealer to schedule a free part replacement.
The utility buggies are sold into a variety of industries, including construction, a company spokeswoman says. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has compiled a list of applicable serial numbers, which owners can check on the Internet at www.cpsc.gov.
Before making repairs, owners also should visually inspect the brake fluid. If it is dark-gray in color, then the master cylinder has failed. "Immediately stop using the machine and advise all others of the potential danger," says Deere's Nov. 5 safety bulletin. If the fluid appears amber, then owners should "limit severe use and use extra caution while braking" before calling dealers.