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Polaris RZR linked to fire hazards and 4 deaths

2219 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  ethantailor
This is a crazy story from the New York Times about the Polaris RZR and fire hazards. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/06/business/polaris-rzr-fires.html

According to the article "From 2013 to 2018, Polaris Industries issued RZR recalls 10 times for fire hazards, far more than for any competing product. There have been more than 180 RZR fires, often leaving little more than scorched earth and a skeletal metal frame. Four people have been killed and at least 30 others have been burned, according to a tally from recalls, lawsuits and reports to federal regulators."
The Consumer Product Safety Commission, responsible for regulating products ranging from children’s toys to furniture, has no regulations specific to side-by-side vehicles, as is the case with many industries it oversees. It has at times taken steps to address the Polaris fire hazard, but has been restricted in its ability to act swiftly.

Manufacturers are required to report to the agency within 24 hours of receiving information that suggests a product is defective, like a fire. But before its recall of 160,000 vehicles in 2016, Polaris notified regulators only after it had learned of 150 fires, one fatality and 11 burn injuries. One of the blazes burned 10 acres.

“We do depend on manufacturers, seriously, to be telling us these things in a timely way, because they are most likely to get the incident report first from a consumer,” said Joseph Martyak, an agency spokesman.

In April 2018, the month it agreed to the record penalty, Polaris recalled another 100,000 RZRs over a fire hazard involving a fuel pump flange. But since then, more fires have been reported — some in recent models, others in vehicles covered by recalls.
I really hope Polaris can get their act together with the RZR. No one deserves to get hurt like this. It's a pretty eye-opening article and definitely worth the read.
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I wonder if heating issues are why Kawasaki has taken so long to create a sporty side-by-side?
I wonder if heating issues are why Kawasaki has taken so long to create a sporty side-by-side?
It might be a factor but I don't think it's the main one. My guess is that for whatever reason they didn't think the market was big enough before, and/or it took a long time for them to develop the curved protective structure.
Polaris vehicles have caused more than 250 fires, in excess of 30 severe injuries, and at least 4 deaths. A Polaris RZR was also responsible for a 15-acre forest fire in American Fork Canyon. This 2019 article from the New York Times profiled some of the victims of these tragic fires. However, it is dependent on the vehicle models as well. If you already have the quality polaris rzr accessories this is not going to be possible.
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