"There's still people out there using and riding these mowers, parking these mowers in garages. There's a danger and I'm furious," says Upshur County resident Ron Tutor. He's talking about his experience with his $1500+ Craftsman ride-on mower. Last Tuesday would be the last time he would use it because while working on the mower he started smelling gas then suddenly: "It just went 'woof!,' says Ron imitating the sound when the flames erupted. "I just kind of rolled off the mower and hit the ground. I was just trying to get away from it because this thing started blazing. It's scary," he says recalling the event. Ron managed to out the flames and inspected the situation. The pipe to his gas tank came loose causing a leak. But Ron's owner's manual shows the gas tank should not have even been installed right next to the mower's engine. "This is the seat here and this is the gas tank. It shows the gas fill on the left hand side of the seat on the left rear fender and this gas tank is underneath the seat," says Ron pointing out that his gas tank is installed in the wrong place. The parts manual also shows what the gas tank should look like and it's not the square-shaped that Ron has on his current mower.
The mower is a Craftsman 664 YS 4500. The model number is 917.27664. 7 On Your Side called the Consumer Product Safety Commission to find out if this product is being recalled. They could not comment saying it's still an open investigation. But when we called Sears headquarters, the company says the mower is being recalled. But couldn't specify when it will be made public. "At this time I still haven't heard anybody saying don't use this mower or I think there might be a problem with the gas tank," says Ron. He didn't suffer any burns from the incident, but lost a tooth and had to shave his moustache of 30 years after it was singed. Maybe others out there won't lose more than he did knowing what we know now.
If you own this particular model mower, call the company you bought if from to find out what your options are. The Sears Ron bought his mower from has offered to refund his money in full.