On April 2, 2018, Polaris announced yet another recall of recreational off-highway vehicles (ROVs) due to fire hazards. This is another in a series of recalls the company has implemented to address potentially dangerous vehicles with defects that under certain circumstances can lead to injurious and even deadly fires.
This time, it is the RZR XP 1000 that is affected by the recall, which applies to about 107,000 units.
Polaris Advises Consumers to Contact a Dealer for a Free Repair
According to the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the recall affects model-year 2014-2018 Polaris RZR XP 1000s that were sold at Polaris dealers nationwide since December 2013. The vehicles are manufactured and distributed by Polaris and have the word “Polaris” stamped on the front and back grill. There should also be “Polaris,” “RZR,” “1000,” and “XP” stickers on the side panels.
The problem is the exhaust silencer. This device helps dim the popping noise of the muffler and allows consumers to enjoy a quieter ride. In the RZR XP 1000, though, if the exhaust silencer can wear down and crack, and the heat shield may not manage heat, which could lead to the melting of nearby components or a fire.
Polaris has received 30 reports of cracked exhaust silencers, including three reports of fire. No injuries have been reported.
Polaris is asking vehicles owners to call the company at 800-765-747 from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Central Time Monday through Friday, or check online at www.polaris.com and click on “Off Road Safety Recalls” at the bottom of the page for more information.
Consumers can also check their VINs and compare them against the “product safety recalls” page on the Polaris website to see if their vehicle is affected. The CPSC has a list of all vehicles included in the recall. Polaris says it’s contacting all consumers directly as well.
Those who own a recalled vehicle are asked to stop using it immediately and contact a Polaris dealer for a free repair.
Polaris Fires Have Injured and Killed Consumers
This is one of many Polaris off-road vehicle recalls. Just last December, the CPSC alerted the public about fires associated with the model year 2013-2017 Polaris RZR 900 and 1000 ROVs, with some of those fires causing property damage, serious injuries, and even death.
Even after users got their recalled vehicles repaired, some still experience fires, including total-loss fires. The CPSC noted that they were working with Polaris to “ensure fire risks in these vehicles are addressed.”
Among those injured in Polaris fires was an 11-year-old girl who was riding a 2010 Polaris Ranger while on a family visit. The vehicle tipped over and pinned her underneath, then started leaking gas. Soon, both the ROV and the girl caught on fire. A neighbor used his truck to get the vehicle off her, and the parents rushed the girl to the hospital. She suffered from third- and fourth-degree burns over 60 percent of her body. The family filed a lawsuit against Polaris and eventually settled out of court.
Other similar lawsuits have been filed by other burn victims, who claim Polaris was aware of the fire risk in tip-over events and failed to take preventive measures. In another 2016 recall announcement of about 133,000 vehicles, Polaris admitted they had received more than 160 reports of fires, including one death of a 15-year-old passenger from a rollover that resulted in a fire, and 19 injuries, including first-, second-, and third-degree burns.
In total, over the last 12 years, Polaris has recalled about 600,000 vehicles due to fire risk, with over half of those recalled in 2016 and 2017.
Exclusively focused on representing plaintiffs, especially in mass tort litigation, Eric Chaffin prides himself on providing unsurpassed professional legal services in pursuit of the specific goals of his clients and their families. Both his work and his cases have been featured in the national press, including on ABC’s Good Morning America.