Polaris Off-Road Vehicles Present Fire Hazard and Burn Risk
Defective Off Road Vehicles
A Twin Cities-based manufacturer has recalled thousands of vehicles after receiving dozens of reports of vehicles overheating and catching on fire. Polaris Industries, Inc. announced one of the largest recalls ever made by an off-road vehicle manufacturer on April 19, 2016. The recall affected approximately 133,000 Polaris RZR 900 and RZR 1000 ROVs made between 2013 and 2016. The vehicles were manufactured with a defective fuel tank line that when pinched, pressurizes the tank and leaks fuel. In response to the recall, Polaris pulled the vehicles from the sales floor, sent recall letters to the owners they knew of, and offered repair appointments free of charge.
Polaris Off-Road Vehicles Going up in Flames
Unfortunately, repair free of charge doesn’t do much after your vehicle goes up in flames. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that Polaris RZR vehicles are responsible for 160 fires, 19 burn injuries, and the death of a 15 year old girl – Baylee Hoaldridge. Baylee sustained severe burns over 65% of her body, underwent 27 surgeries, and eventually passed away after being taken off life support.
Following yet another recall issued on September 1, 2016 of model year 2016 Polaris RZR XP Turbo and RZR XP 4 Turbo recreational off-highway vehicles, the company is now offering an extended warranty on repaired vehicles and a discount towards the purchase of a new vehicle.
Polaris had previously encountered trouble with its Sportsman ATVs, issuing a recall of all 2009 Model Year Polaris ATVs on July 22, 2009. The recall was also a result of leaking engine tanks that resulted in vehicle fires and burn injuries. An ABC News article reports that Polaris has known about the defect in these ATVs for years. The company is now facing a class action lawsuit which is to be tried in Minnesota District Court later this year.