Update: Polaris Recalls Sportsman ATVs for Fire, Melting Hazards
March 28, 2017 – Polaris Industries is recalling its Sportsman 850 and 1000 ATVs from model years 2015 and 2016 over a defect that has been linked to at least 47 fires and 4 burn injuries to riders. Both models have a right-side panel heat shield that can melt, which could lead to fire risks and burns to riders, and the 2015 Sportsman 1000 ATV has exhaust springs that can stretch and damage the exhaust heat seal, according to the CPSC.
What’s the problem?
April 19, 2016 – According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), the Polaris RZR recall is one of the largest ever by an off-road vehicle manufacturer. Affected models include the RZR 900 and RZR 1000 ROVs, model years 2013 to 2016. A more limited recall involving 53,000 RZRs was announced in October.
There have been at least 160 reports of fire in these vehicles, resulting in 19 burn injuries and the death of a 15-year-old girl in Utah, according to the CPSC.
Baylee Hoaldridge died in November, 4 months after the Polaris RZR 900 her family rented for the July 4 holiday rolled over and caught on fire. She suffered burns over 65% of her body and was forced to undergo at least 27 surgeries after the accident, according to her obituary.
In the October recall, CPSC said the fire hazard was caused by a defective fuel tank line, which can be pinched and cause the tank to pressurize and leak fuel.
CPSC noted that the 19 injury reports involved people with 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree burns. Details have not been provided on the other accidents involving Polaris RZRs; however, they have been linked to other serious injuries.
10-year-old Reese Elrod was credited with saving the life of her 7-year-old sister in a July 2015 incident involving a Polaris RZR. The two were riding the vehicle around the family’s property when Reese’s sister complained that her back was getting hot, according to the Minneapolis StarTribune. Reese saw that the RZR was on fire and jumped out of the vehicle, but her sister couldn’t open the door. So Reese climbed back in and helped her climb over the seat. By the time their father arrived with a fire extinguisher, the RZR was engulfed in flames.
As part of the recall, Polaris agreed to stop selling affected RZR models until the vehicles can be repaired. The company said it is sending recall letters to owners whose addresses are on file, but it also urged consumers to check its website for specific VIN numbers affected by the recall. Repairs will be provided free of charge and service appointments should last about an hour, Polaris said.
Do I Have a Polaris RZR Recall Lawsuit?
The Class Action Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Polaris RZR lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new injury and death cases in all 50 states.
Free Confidential Case Evaluation: Again, if you suffered an injury in an ATC accident, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.