Outdoors

These vehicles caught fire even after a recall, and a teen burned to death

Off-road vehicle maker Polaris’ quality-challenged 2017 — 15 recalls in 12 months — continued as the company alerted the public to fires in some ROVs in a joint statement with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

“These fires have caused death, serious injuries and property damage,” reads the joint statement posted on the product safety website on Tuesday.

The fires occur in the 2013–17 Polaris RZR 900 and 1000 recreational off-highway vehicles, most of which were recalled in 2016 because, according to that notice, “The recalled ROVs can catch fire while consumers are driving, posing fire and burn hazards to drivers and passengers.”

As of that recall, more than 160 fires were known to Polaris, one of which killed a 15-year-old after a rollover and caused “19 reports of injuries, including first-, second- and third-degree burns.”

Tuesday’s statement says despite the recall, “users of the vehicles that were repaired as part of the April 2016 recall continue to report fires, including total-loss fires. The 2017 RZRs were not included in the April 2016 recall, but these models have also experienced fires.”

The joint statement’s purpose was to highlight the problems for anyone who might have missed the previous recalls. Fires and burn hazards caused most of Polaris’ 2017 recalls, including Thursday’s recall of the 2018 RZR XP 4 Turbo ROVs.

Polaris 2018 RZR XP 4 Turbo blue
Polaris 2018 RZR XP 4 Turbo U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

“The return fuel line can be improperly secured which can cause fuel to leak, posing a fire hazard,” states the notice, which also says the company knows of one fire that has resulted from this problem.

The CPSC wants to hear about any fire or overheating problems either online or by calling the CPSC Hotline at 800-638-2772.

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal

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