After 83 reports of engine fires and melting engines, including one minor burn injury, John Deere has recalled 36,500 lawn tractors because the cooling fan can break. The company has received 163 incident reports in tall, according to the recall notice from the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The recall involves three John Deere riding mowers—X300, X300R and X304—powered by Kawasaki Engines.
The cooling fan is under the hood of the mower in front of the steering wheel. When it stops working, the engine can overheat causing the surrounding plastic to melt, or worse, creating the risk of fire. The lawn tractors with the Kawasaki FS541V engines were sold from September 2010 to August 2011 for between about $3,000 and $4,000. See the recall notice for a full list of serial numbers. The model number is on both sides of the tractor hood, and the serial number can be found on the frame near the front right tire.
Consumer Reports has tested the X300 and the X304, but not the X300R, and both are recommended models in our current Ratings of lawn tractors. John Deere is asking mower owners to stop using them and to contact a John Deere dealer to arrange to have the cooling fan replaced. All registered owners of the recalled mowers will be directly notified by John Deere.
This was John Deere's third recall of riding mowers in as many days. Deere recalled the D100, D110, D120 and D130 because the hardware securing the brake assembly can break. The D100 was also recalled because of possible break failure.
For more information on all three recalls, call Deere & Company at (800) 537-8233 or visit the company’s website at www.johndeere.com.
—Mary H.J. Farrell