Sea-Doo Issues Recall on Spark Steering Systems


Unlike what many would believe, a manufacturer issuing a recall is actually a good thing. Well, of course it’d be ideal if a product didn’t require a recall at all, but the presence of a public recall is actually a good indicator that said manufacturer is willing to address a problem and provide a positive solution.

With it being the first production year of the all-new Sea-Doo Spark, there are bound to be foibles in the vehicle’s design – as no ski is perfect (or something like that). That the Spark’s steering system is susceptible to breakage when an excessive amount of pressure is applied is a bitter pill to swallow, but that Sea-Doo is fast moving on the problem and is addressing the issue in such a professional manner is a great sign.

We say this because we don’t want commentators declaring this recall as being a “black eye” on the Spark’s otherwise fantastic inaugural year. Admittedly, this recall touches on the Spark’s very publicly argued use of lightweight plastics rather than traditional fiberglass, metal and plastic parts. But again, Sea-Doo’s dealer network is already taking action to replace handlebar/steering systems on unsold units as well as existing customer’s Sparks.

Here’s the original release: 

July 15th, 2014
Re: Sea-Doo® SPARKTM Watercraft – Possible defective steering column/handlebar

Dear Sea-Doo Watercraft Owner,
This notice is being sent to you in cooperation with the U.S. Coast Guard and Transport Canada and is sent to you in accordance with the requirements of the Federal Boat Safety and other applicable laws. BRP is conducting a voluntary safety recall of some MY2014 Sea-Doo Watercraft models. Our records indicate that you are the owner of a potentially affected watercraft.

What is the potential problem?
The steering column / handlebar may have been incorrectly manufactured by our supplier and it may break under rough riding conditions. This could cause the operator to lose his balance and hit the personal watercraft resulting in serious injuries or even death.

What should you do?
Call an authorized BRP Sea-Doo Watercraft dealer and make an appointment to have your watercraft repaired. The dealer will perform this work at no charge to you.

As you are now aware of the details of this safety recall, if you continue to use your personal watercraft, in the above described condition, be aware of the risks described herein.

What to do if you feel this notice is an error?
This notice was mailed to you according to the most current information we have available. If you no longer own this watercraft or some information in this notice is incorrect, please contact BRP at your earliest convenience.

If you have questions, need assistance, or to find the nearest authorized BRP Sea-Doo dealer:

  • Visit www.sea-doo.com
  • Or call: 1-888-272-9222
    9:00 AM to 9:00 PM Eastern time Monday to Friday

Your continued satisfaction with your watercraft is important to us. Please understand that we have taken this action in the interest of your safety and your watercraft’s proper operation. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.

Thank you for your immediate attention to this matter.

Sincerely,
After-Sales Service Department

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Kevin Shaw

Kevin Shaw is a decade-long powersports and automotive journalist whose love for things that go too fast has led him to launching The Watercraft Journal. Almost always found with stained hands and dirt under his fingernails, Kevin has an eye for the technical while keeping a eye out for beautiful photography and a great story.

3 comments

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  1. Joe 2 September, 2014 at 00:27 Reply

    I have to laugh at you praising See Doo and the Spark on this one. It was months of spark users making a fuss with no info other than the same faulty steering being used as a replacement with the same results that got BRP to issue the recall. BRP was not out in front on this one. It was the PWC community demanding action from BRP that led to the recall. Give credit where it is actually do.

    • Kevin Shaw 2 September, 2014 at 08:47 Reply

      Joe, all recalls are birthed this way. Consumers report faults that the OEM failed to address during preliminary testing. Thankfully, it didn’t take years or a strain of severe injuries like so many other recalls, but rather months.

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