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Exploding Gas Tank Defect Triggers Recall of 138K Polaris Snowmobiles

An exploding gas tank defect resulted in the recall of 138,000 Polaris snowmobiles in the United States, in addition to an estimated 61,000 units in Canada. Electrostatic discharge inside the fuel tanks can cause vapors to ignite during use, posing a fire hazard and potential injury.

Polaris Industries, Inc., the Medina, Minnesota-based manufacturer of the defective snowmobiles issued the voluntary recall of affected units on November 17, 2022, in conjunction with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).  According to CPSC, the recall was issued after 30 reports of fuel tanks bursting, which resulted in 16 instances of fire and one second-degree burn.

CPSC directed consumers to check the Polaris website, and enter their VIN to determine if their snowmobile is one of the recalled units. According to CPSC, the model name and “Polaris” are emblazoned on either side of the chassis, with the model year and VIN number located on the right side of the tunnel. The recalled U.S. snowmobiles were sold at Polaris dealers nationwide between October 2011 and August 2022 and include:

  • Model year 2021 - 2022 MATRYX

  • Model year 2015 - 2022 AXYS

  • Model year 2013 - 2014 Pro-ride Snowmobiles

Affected by the Polaris Snowmobile Recall? What to Do Next

If You Are Involved in a Snowmobile Accident or Injured by the Defect

If you are involved in a snowmobile accident, whether the accident occurs as a result of a product defect or a collision, you may be injured, scared, and unsure of what to do next. Immediately following a snowmobile accident or fuel tank explosion, follow these general guidelines:

  • Call 911 to report the emergency; report to ski patrol, if applicable

  • Wait for help to arrive; don’t attempt to move an injured person, unless imperative 

  • Alert others of the accident; on a mountain slope, position someone above the scene

  • Obtain an accident report, whether a police report or incident report

  • Photograph injuries for documentation purposes, as safety permits

  • Photograph damage to yours or others’ property

  • Do not admit fault at the scene or to insurance adjusters afterward

  • Seek a medical evaluation of your injuries, regardless of severity

  • Consult with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible

How to Repair Your Recalled Polaris Snowmobile

The recall instructs consumers to cease operating the affected units and either contact Polaris Industries or a certified Polaris dealer to schedule a free repair, which involves replacing the fuel tank assembly. Consumers are further warned not to operate the affected vehicles. If a recalled unit must be moved to facilitate repair, it should only be started with a full, fresh tank of gasoline.

It is important to repair defective vehicle parts as quickly as possible. Given that some recalled Polaris snowmobiles were sold as early as October 2011 in the U.S., these older models may be more prone to incident. If you believe your Polaris snowmobile has been affected by the recall, follow these steps to arrange a FREE repair of your off-highway vehicle (OHV):

  • Determine if your snowmobile has been affected by calling Polaris Industries, Inc.
    ⁠(800) 765-2747 ⧫  7a.m. to 7p.m. CT ⧫ Mon - Fri

  • Use your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to confirm if your vehicle has been recalled 

  • Contact your local Polaris dealer to arrange for a FREE repair

  • Cease operating your recalled snowmobile

  • If your recalled unit must be moved, only start the engine with a full, fresh tank of gas

Who Is At Fault When a Defective Product Causes Injury?

If you believe you have been impacted by a defective Polaris snowmobile, or any other defective product, you deserve to be justly compensated for your damages — including both injuries and property damage. In today’s modern world of manufacturing, there are often several entities involved in producing any given product and delivering it to market.

In the field of personal injury law, a strict approach to product liability is applied in which any entity along the stream of commerce who is involved in delivering a defective product into the hands of consumers can potentially be held liable. Liability can apply whether or not an entity ever had physical possession of the defective product. Potentially responsible parties often include product designers, manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, and retailers — both online and traditional. 

A strict approach to product liability shifts the burden of proof from injured consumers to the parties responsible for bringing the defective product to market. Injury victims in California do not need to prove negligence to pursue a product liability lawsuit. However, they are required to prove the following:

  1. The product was unreasonably dangerous

  2. The plaintiff sustained injury

  3. The injury was caused by the defective product

In the case of the recalled Polaris snowmobiles, as with any defective product, the bottom line is this: when an innocent consumer is injured by a defective product, the responsible parties must be held accountable. Strict liability is the most effective method to apply pressure along the global stream of commerce and incentivise participants to improve consumer product safety.

CZ: True Trial Lawyers Versed in Product Liability Litigation

The personal injury lawyers at Carpenter & Zuckerman have been boldly fighting on behalf of injury victims for over 25 years. The firm was founded on the principle that justice for the injured far outweighs the value of insurance company profits. In keeping with that principle, CZ Law has won more than $2 billion in verdicts and settlements for our deserving clients. 

Our experienced trial lawyers are well-versed in litigating product liability lawsuits ranging from defective automobile parts to medical devices, baby products, and other consumer goods. Notably, CZ Law Partner John P. Kristensen was featured in Los Angeles Times for securing a record-breaking $16,000,000 NHTSA fine against Toyota Motor Corporation in the infamous steering relay rod recall cases.

CZ Law proudly maintains offices in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Orange County, Bakersfield, San Diego, and Seattle, serving clients throughout California and Washington with all of their personal injury law needs. 

If you have been negatively impacted by a recalled Polaris snowmobile or other defective product, you deserve justice! Contact CZ Law today at (877) 870-2153 or fill out our contact form for a FREE consultation.

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