ATV mechanical defects can put you and your loved ones at risk

All terrain vehicles, by their very nature, are expected to handle the toughest conditions. Whether you use an ATV for work or recreation, whenever you take it off-road you entrust your safety and even your life to the manufacturer.

Yet, sometimes manufacturers do not take this grave responsibility seriously enough. When defective products lead to ATV injuries, you may have a legal claim against manufacturers for compensation.

Kawasaki, other ATV brands have been the subject of dozens of safety recalls

According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, since 2000, there have been almost 100 ATV safety recalls. Hundreds of ATV drivers and passengers are killed every year in ATV accidents, many of which can be attributed to manufacturing defects. In 2010, the most recent year for which data is available, the CPSC received reports of 590 ATV-related deaths; the agency estimates the true number of fatalities to be closer to be closer to 726 due to gaps in the reporting process.

In addition, thousands of ATV riders suffer nonfatal injuries annually. In 2010, there were an estimated 115,000 emergency-room treated injuries that resulted from ATV accidents, more than double the 52,200 ATV injuries suffered 15 years prior in 1995.

Some ATV manufacturers have had more problematic mechanical issues than others. Kawasaki, for instance, has issued at least 14 ATV safety recalls since 2000. In one of the latest Kawasaki recalls, certain KFX 50 ATV models suffered from a defect that could prevent the throttle from returning to idle after being released, or could cause the throttle to fail be at the idle position on start-up. This defect created a serious risk of injury, as it could make vehicles speed forward unexpectedly.

Issues involved in other recent Kawasaki ATV recalls included fuel tanks that could leak and pose a fire hazard, nuts that could loosen and cause loss of steering control, and missing product warning labels meant to provide information imperative to safe operation.

Of course, Kawasaki is not the only ATV manufacturer with an imperfect safety record. Other ATV or ATV component manufacturers with one or more serious safety recalls in the last ten years include:

• Arctic Cat.

• Baja Motorsports.

• Bombardier.

• Honda.

• Polaris.

• Suzuki.

• Yamaha.

An attorney may be able to help you secure compensation after an ATV crash

When a mechanical defect results in an ATV accident, you may have a legal right to compensation from the company that manufactured or serviced the ATV. Manufacturers that allow unsafe products to enter the stream of commerce have a duty to account for damages suffered by those who are injured by a safety defect.

A product liability lawsuit can not only help you secure the compensation you deserve, it can also send a powerful message to ATV manufacturers that have become lax on quality control. If you have been injured in an ATV accident that may have involved defective equipment, or if a family member has been killed, get the money you need and help make ATVs safer for everyone: contact a personal injury attorney today.