Mario Kart EV Racer Recalled For Nearly The Same Reason As Tesla's Cybertruck

JAKKS Pacific Mario Kart 24V Ride-On Racer on a red and pink gradient background.
One of the best ways to take out a Mario Kart buggy is to throw a banana peel in front of it. Beaming it with a turtle shell is another surefire tactic. However, there's an issue that could prove even more problematic for Mario Kart racers, which you won't find any of the video games—a stuck acceleration pedal. This potential defect is at the root of a recent recall.

You may not be aware, but you can actually buy a real-life Mario Kart buggy. JAKKS Pacific makes and sells an officially licensed Mario Kart 24V Ride-On Racer for kids, which as the model name implies is powered by a 24-volt battery. It can reach top speeds of up to 8 miles per hour, with children having the option of selecting three forward speeds (along with reverse).

In a somewhat comical twist, however, the colorful racer is prone to a similar issue that recently resulted in a Tesla Cybertruck recall affecting thousands of vehicles—the acceleration pedal can get stuck. As such, the Mario Kart buggy has been recalled as well.

Retail box of JAKKS Pacific's Mario Kart 24V Ride-On Racer.

"If the acceleration pedal on the battery-operated ride-on toy becomes clogged with debris, it can stick after the user’s foot is removed from the pedal, posing a crash hazard," the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) states in its recall notice.

The recall affects Mario Kart models with the following date codes...
  • 1752VE01
  • 1782VE01
  • 1952VE01
  • 2242VE01
  • 2352VE01
  • 2852VE01
  • 0583VE01
Underside view of the JAKKS Pacific Mario Kart 24V Ride-On Racer showing the location of the date code.

You can find the date code on the bottom of the blue panel underneath the racer. Around 17,500 Mario Kart buggies are part of the recall. CSPC says it has fielded 65 reports of the pedal being clogged and sticking. In 15 of those cases, the defect caused the racer to crash into a permanent structure. Fortunately, there's only been a single report of a minor injury, that being a chafed hand.

While somewhat humorous in the sense that a Mario Kart toy racer is having the same issue as a Cybertruck, there are real risks associated with stuck pedals. Bearing in mind that these are built for children with little to no driving experience, it's conceivable that a stuck pedal could cause a racer to zoom out of a driveway or off a sidewalk into a road with traffic, off a ditch, or into a body of water, depending on the environment (and level of parental supervision).

Affected models were sold in stores and online at places like Amazon, Target, Walmart, Game Stop, and a few other places from October 2022 to January 2024. According to the Mario Kart recall, vehicles currently being sold are not affected (though we recommend checking the date code anyway). If you own an affected racer, CSPC says to stop using it immediately and to contact JAKKS Pacific for a free repair kit, which essentially entails a replacement pedal with installation instructions (PDF).