Riding all-terrain vehicles, or ATVs, and their hybrids can be fun, but the use of these vehicles is not without risk, particularly when the product turns out to be defective. Since October 2014, the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission has announced four recalls of amphibious vehicles and ATVs. Victims who sustained injuries as a result of vehicle defects may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and other losses.
The commission announced the most recent recall May 26. It was for about 12,500 Can-Am Mini DS ATVs for model years 2008 through 2015. The sizes of the engines on these youth model ATVs range from 70 cubic centimeters and 90 cubic centimeters. On both sides of the vehicle is the marking "Can-Am DS."
"The youth ATVs fail to meet performance requirements of the federal ATV standard for maximum unrestricted speed and parking brakes, posing a crash hazard," according to a commission statement. "Model year 2008 through 2014 DS 70 ATVs fail to meet requirements pertaining to the unrestricted maximum speed of the vehicle. Model years 2008 through 2015 DS 70 and DS 90 ATVs fail to meet requirements pertaining to parking brakes."
The commission urges consumers to "immediately stop using the recalled ATVs and contact a BRP dealer to schedule a free repair. BRP is notifying registered consumers directly."
The Can-Am recall is the second that the commission announced in 2015. In February, the agency announced the recall of more than 300 high-speed amphibious vehicles, including the Gibbs Quadski, which is a one-seater, and Quadski XL, which is a two-seater. These products operate as an ATV on land and as a watercraft.
"The handlebar can fail while the vehicle is in operation, causing the operator to lose control of the steering and braking system of the vehicle, posing a risk of injury," according to the CPSC.
The commission further reported, "The recalled vehicles have HIN numbers ranging from US-GSA601J213 though US-GSAJ1048C414 on Quadski and US-GSAJ5001J213 though US-GSAM5203H415 on Quadski XL. HIN numbers are printed on a plate located on the right rear corner of the vehicle. Brand and model names are printed on the back panel and on the side of the vehicle."
The commission, as it did with the BRP ATV, recommended that consumers stop using the vehicle and to take it to an authorized dealer for "a repair at no cost."
Two ATV recalls took place in October 2014. The first pertained to more than 500 2013, 2014 and 2015 KYMCO MXU 700 ATVs, including standard, LE and Camo versions.
The commission described the KYMCO hazard as follows: "In hot environments or high elevations, the fuel cap can fail to vent properly, causing the fuel to heat up and pressure to build up in the tank. The pressure can cause the fuel tank to rupture or the fuel to boil out of the tank onto the operator or hot engine, resulting in burns to the operator or a fire."
In addition to ceasing to use the vehicle and to take it to a KYMCO dealer for repair, the commission advised, "The original gas caps must be collected by the dealer to confirm the repair."
Rounding out the four CPSC-announced ATV recalls since the fall was the announcement in regard to about 40,000 of the Arctic Cat single-rider and 2 UP style ATVs for model years 2008 and 2009.
"Components in the front gear case can fail, posing a risk of loss of control and crash hazard," according to the commission, which further explained, "All model year 2008 Arctic Cat ATVs with 400 cubic centimeter and larger engines are being recalled. Model year 2009 Arctic Cat ATVs with 400 cubic centimeter and larger engines and with production numbers within the following ranges are being recalled: 200001 through 203861, 808001 through 808137, and X25082 through X30243."
Taking the vehicle to an authorized dealer for repair, without continuing to ride, is essential in this case as well, according to the commission.
Consumers might want to heed the commission's recommendations in regard to receiving the proper repairs. Additionally, riders who are injured due to a product defect may be entitled to compensation; hence they have a right to contact an attorney to determine what their legal rights are.