Consumer Product Safety Commission: Regulations and Responsibilities
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is a federal regulatory agency that is responsible for protecting the public against unreasonable risks of injuries and deaths associated with consumer products. The CPSC develop standards with industry, issues and enforces standards, obtains recalls, conducts research, and informs and educates consumers.
Federal law requires that manufacturers, importers, distributers, and/or retailers of consumer products immediately report the following types of information to the CPSC:
- A defective product that could create a substantial risk of injury to consumers;
- A product that creates an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death;
- A product that fails to comply with an applicable consumer safety rule, regulation, standard, or ban.
Failure to fully and immediately report this information may lead to substantial civil or criminal penalties.
Polaris' Failure to Report
Polaris received reports that model year 2013-2016 RZR 900 and model year 2014-2016 RZR 1000 ROVs could catch fire while consumers were driving posing fire and burn hazards to drivers and passengers. By the time that Polaris reported the defect in the RZR models, the manufacturer had received reports of 150 fires including one that resulted in the death of a 15-year-old.
From December 2013 to July 2016, Polaris received 36 reports of fires associated with model year 2014 Rangers. Rather than report the incidents to the CPSC, Polaris made two design changes to the Rangers to prevent the heat shields from becoming loose and falling off. By the time Polaris reported these issues, it had received 10 reports of heat shield incidents including 5 reports of fires.
Due to Polaris' delayed reporting of defects in the RZR and Ranger models, the company was slapped with one of the largest fines in CPSC history - a whopping $27.25 million dolars. In addition to paying a civil fine, Polaris has also agreed to maintain an enhanced compliance program with procedures designed to ensure timely reporting in the future.
What Should Polaris Owners and Victims Do?
To see if your vehicle has been recalled, visit Polaris' website and enter your vehicle information. If you have an active recall on your vehicle you should contact Polaris or a Polaris dealer immediately to discuss repairs and replacements.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to a Polaris fire, contact Keller & Keller today for a free consultation. Our experienced attorneys can represent victims of Polaris fires across the nation. Whether you were seriously injured or suffered the loss of a loved one on these recreational vehicles, we can help you seek justice.