Polaris Industries, manufacturer of recreational off-road vehicles (ROVs), agreed to pay a $27.25 million penalty because it failed to notify federal officials about the fire hazards its vehicles pose to riders. Federal regulators have linked one death and more than 180 fires to the dangerous off-road vehicles according to a story in the Tucson Sentinel. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced the settlement in April 2018, reporting that Polaris failed to notify the agency when it discovered that 226,500 of its vehicles “’contained a defect that could create a substantial product hazard’ –namely, a risk of catching fire.”
The ROV manufacturer failed to notify the CPSC until after it had already received reports of at least 180 fires, one of which caused the death of a 15-year-old girl. The young girl was burned severely when she was a passenger in a Polaris RZR that tipped over and caught fire.
This is not the first time ROVs have caught fire
In February 2018, the Fair Warning blog reported two other deaths linked to defective ROVs. Two Arizona women died in September 2016 when the Polaris Ranger they were riding tipped over and caught fire. However, the circumstances of those two deaths are still under investigation.
The CPSC and Polaris issued a joint statement in December 2017 warning consumers about the fire hazard associated with ROVs. A year later in December 2018, there are allegations that a fix is not keeping the ROVs from catching fire, and other ROVs not covered by the recall are also catching fire, according to a story on NBC4.com. Rachel Weintraub of the Consumer Federation of America was quoted by the news, calling for “more looking under the hood, and more understanding of what is going on.” Despite all the recalls, consumers still don’t have the information they need to protect themselves, said Weintraub.
Polaris is urging consumers to bring their ROVs to the Polaris dealer to have the defect repaired, and to follow the safety instructions in the owner’s manual. Consumers can find out if their ROV is included in the safety recall by visiting the Polaris website, where they can also learn about riding their ROVs safely.
When a defective product causes injury and death, the injured consumer or the loved ones of a person who perished because of an accident may be able to take legal action against the manufacturer and other businesses in the chain of commerce. An experienced Phoenix products liability lawyer from Plattner Verderame, P.C. can protect your right to recover compensation for your losses.
At Plattner Verderame, P.C., we advocate for the interests of Arizona clients injured because of defective products. Our Phoenix product liability lawyers fight tenaciously to get compensation for your pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and other damages. You may schedule a free consultation by calling us at 602.783.8793 or filling out our contact form today.