Enthusiasts of all-terrain vehicles know they are fun and versatile, useful for off-road riding, racing or general utility purposes. Riding an ATV requires skill and caution, and while California does not require a license to operate one, some states do require special training. Nevertheless, training and skill may do little to prevent injury if the rider is on a defective vehicle. ATV owners from numerous states are seeking compensation through a class action lawsuit after a well-known ATV manufacturer apparently failed to address a dangerous defect.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission cited Polaris Industries, one of the largest manufacturers of ATVs, for failing to report an overheating issue in two of its popular models. CPSC fined Polaris over $27 million, but owners of the vehicles say this is not good enough. About 300,000 ATV owners have joined a lawsuit seeking undisclosed damages after the engines on their ATVs overheated and caught fire. At least three people died, and 30 or more suffered severe injuries.
The complaint alleges that Polaris continued to sell the ATV models for seven years, knowing the defect in the engine placed riders in danger. Numerous recalls did not address the specific issue that caused the newly redesigned engines to overheat. The defective design places the engine directly behind the seat and reroutes the gas exhaust pipes toward the rider. The engine also has more power and inadequate ventilation, resulting in a tendency to combust.
When auto manufacturers place profit above the safety of consumers, the result is often disastrous. Following a tragic death or injury, victims and their families may looks for ways to hold manufacturers accountable through class action lawsuits. With the assistance of a California attorney, they are often able to obtain compensation that allows them to move forward in life.
Source: startribune.com, "Consumers seek class-action status in new lawsuit against Polaris", Dee DePass, April 5, 2018