Polaris ATV Fires Result in Lawsuits Over Burns, Injuries

More than a dozen individuals are now pursuing product liability lawsuits over Polaris ATV fires, alleging that the manufacturer sold a defective vehicle that is prone to overheating and bursting into flames, resulting in severe burns, injuries and at least one death.

According to a report published this week by the Star Tribune, a group of cases pending in Minnesota state court are being centralized before one judge, with additional lawsuits pending in California, Montana and other states where individuals suffered injuries when their Polaris four-wheel vehicle spontaneously and without warning caught on fire.

The issue may impact more than 133,000 recreational off-road vehicles (ROVs), which have been the subject of regulatory actions in recent years.

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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) hit Polaris, Inc. with a $27.25 million civil penalty in April 2018, settling claims over failure to report problems with Polaris RZR and Ranger vehicles, including information about 150 ATV fires.

Several of the unreported fires resulted in burn injuries, and at least one resulted in the death of a 15 year old passenger. In addition, one of the Polaris ATV fires consumed ten acres of land, according to federal regulators.

According to one of the recently filed Polaris ATV lawsuits, a 2017 Polaris RZR Turbo caught on fire earlier this year while being operated by two Idaho residents. One of the ATV occupants was killed in the explosion, which burned most of his body. The second occupant survived, but suffered severe burns to his legs, shoulders, back, neck and arms.

Plaintiffs allege that Polaris has sold multiple defective off-road vehicles, which may catch fire while consumers are driving the ATV, posing a serious risk of burns and injuries. The complaints further allege the manufacturer was aware of the potential overheating and fire risks, and negligently failed to warn consumers.

Since 2013, Polaris has issued a series of ATV recalls impacting over 100,000 vehicles linked to fire hazards, including 20,000 Polaris Sportsman 850 ATV’s, 55,000 2015 Polaris XP 900, XP 900 EPS, and CREW 900 ROVs, 43,000 Polaris Ranger 570 ROVs, and 25,600 model year 2014 Polaris Sportsman 570 ATVs.

All of the impacted vehicle contained defects surrounding fire risks related to the heat shields failing due to the engines overheating or fuel leaks that could have the potential to reach hot surfaces and ignite.


  • MeganNovember 6, 2020 at 4:16 pm

    I had a ranger that just caught on fire for no reason. Set in the drive way at my parents all day and at 1130 at night caught on fire burned their house boat and part of their garage. It had not been driven or moved for over 10 or 12 hours and had been just sitting and caught on fire and burned up caught the house boat on fire and their garage.

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