Gabrielson Law Offices, LTD. - personal injury

Defective all-terrain vehicle product hazards

An advisory from the United States Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration notes the agricultural industry increasingly uses all-terrain vehicles. The OSHA bulletin provides warnings and guidelines to help protect employees who use ATVs in the workplace.

ATV design defects are responsible for a shocking number of related injuries and fatalities. A longitudinal research study issued by the Consumer Product Safety Commission recorded over 800,000 ATV injuries—including severe burns, amputations, and death—and the numbers continue to rise.

Warnings by the Consumer Product Safety Commission

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has forced Polaris, the leading manufacturer of ATVs and recreational off-highway vehicles, to recall defective ATMs and ROVs involved in serious injuries. Safety organizations note that the recalls have not resulted in a measurable decrease in Polaris design defects or sales of defective products. Injuries and fatalities continue unabated.

Around 5,600 Polaris Phoenix 200 models manufactured from 2014 through 2017 were recently recalled due to throttle limiter failures. Forbes cited a news story by nonprofit FairWarning.org reporting a Polaris recall of 600,000 defective off-road vehicles for causing fires resulting in fatalities. Polaris, criticized for failing to notify owners of the known safety issue, paid a settlement of $27.25 million as a result of the Consumer Product Safety Commission sanctions.

Hazardous ATVs still rolling off the production line

The Consumer Product Safety Commission suggested that Polaris recall another 16,500 off-road vehicles from 2013 to 2017: RZR 900 and 1000 models, including unrepaired models from a prior recall. Critics wondered about the absence of a direct CPSC recall order; however, interestingly—on the same date as the Forbes article exposé—the CPSC reversed the suggestion and ordered official recalls of the RZR models, including Ranger XPs sold in 2016 and 2017. Consumers may check the model or VINs of their off-road models against the Polaris recall list posted online.

Resources for victims of defective off-road vehicle accidents

Those injured by Polaris ATVs or by another manufacturer's product have the right to compensation for their injuries. Families can pursue compensation for those who sustained injuries or fatalities. Insurance companies traditionally offer low settlements, if any, and are not the best avenues for help. Those who are victims of ATV accidents can seek willing help from professional product liability claim experts. They are knowledgeable and supportive in working hard to help innocent people receive the justice they deserve. 

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