Polaris RZR fire injury claims continue to mount as these recreational off-highway vehicles (“ROV”) have ongoing issues with catching fire. As noted in the September 19, Idaho Statesman recently near Weiser Idaho a Polaris RZR fire led to the death of a 23 year-old passenger and serious burn injuries to the 52-year-old owner and driver. The fire and loss of life was also the lead story in this New York Times article “The Polaris RZR, an Off-Road Thrill That Can Go up In Flames.” Its not even the first major Polaris ROV-related fire incident in Idaho. A Polaris is also believed to have caused a major Idaho wildfire.
The dangers presented by the Polaris RZR’s continue. Risk of fire has led Polaris to recall about 600,000 vehicles over the last 13 years. Over half of the recalls were in 2016 and 2017. But the risks to consumers continue, on June 6, 2017 Polaris issued a stop ride because of a fire Hazard on 2019 RZR XP Turbos.
If you have suffered an injury because of a Polaris vehicle catching fire, the lawyers of Hepworth Holzer, LLP are here with the experience, resources and know-how to help you.
Polaris RZR Fires Have Been a Long Ongoing Risk For Recreationists.
Polaris RZR’s have been recalled repeatedly because of fire hazards. For example, some 53,000 Polaris RZR ROVs were recalled in 2015 with multiple reports of fuel line leaks causing fires. These included both RZR 900 and 1000 models with reports of burn injuries. These units catch fire easily when there is a fuel leak anywhere near the motor housing or frame. The leaking fuel line may catch on fire, posing serious burn hazards.
In 2018, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a record $27.25 million civil penalty against Polaris for failing to report in a timely manner overheating problems and fires caused by its Ranger and RZR all-terrain vehicles. The CPSC found Polaris knew RZR models for 2013-16 catch fire. It stated Polaris received reports of 150 fires. One of those RZR fires resulted in the death of a child.
Polaris RZR Fires Kill and Maim People.
The Idaho case of the Polaris fire death is much like one from September 2017 in California. Paige Richmond was a passenger in a 2017 Polaris RZR riding through California’s Inyo National Forest. The vehicle became engulfed in flames.
The driver and a front passenger got out. A fellow back seat passenger escaped with serious burns. Richmond couldn’t get herself out. The driver finally got her out. She suffered burns over 65% of her body and after months of suffering succumbed to the burn injuries.
Many others have died in these fire incidents. People like Baylee Hoaldridge a 15-year-old. She was burned in July 2015, after a Polaris RZR in which she was a passenger tipped over and caught fire. Similarly Destiny Dixon and Deborah Swann, women from Arizona, burned to death when their Polaris Ranger tipped over in September 2016 in Utah.
Keylee Latham was maimed by a Polaris fire. As described in her lawsuit she was “riding in the back seat of the Polaris Ranger behind the right front passenger seat.” She was one of 4 people “taking trash to a dumpster located adjacent to the property they were visiting,” When “the Polaris Ranger took a left turn from a gravel road and subsequently tipped over onto its right side. This trapped Kaylee “underneath the vehicle and roll bar. Shortly thereafter, leaking gasoline caught fire under and around the rear seat of the Polaris Ranger and also on the ground where [she] was pinned and unable to move.” More than 60% of her body was covered in 3rd and 4th degree burns. She eventually had part of her right leg and her left foot amputated.
It Is Not Just The Polaris RZR That Presents Fire Risk, Its Other Products Are Dangerous As Well.
Polaris describes the reason for these incidents and recalls is “thermal hazards.” That is a corporate euphemism for the extreme dangers its products present to consumers. Its not just RZRs that burn. Many of its products do so including Rangers, Turbos, Generals, Slingshots, and snowmobiles. Polaris’ builds vehicles in the United States, Mexico and Taiwan. There are multiple causes of the fires, various recall notices mention things like leaking fuel lines and tanks, overheating engines and inadequate heat shields.
Call Us To Learn About Our Team Of Polaris RZR Fire Lawyers and Experts
Our award-winning injury attorneys understand the complexities of this type of products liability litigation. If you have suffered an injury because of a Polaris vehicle catching fire, the lawyers of Hepworth Holzer, LLP are here with the experience, resources and know-how to help you.