Off-road motorsports have become increasingly popular in recent years.
But while exploring the outdoors on a Utility Task Vehicle or Utility Terrain Vehicle (UTV), Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle (ROV), Multipurpose Off-Highway Utility Vehicle (MOHUV), All Purpose Vehicle (APV) or other Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) can be a lot of fun for the whole family, these activities are also quite dangerous, especially when an OHV or its components were defectively designed or manufactured.
As a leading Child Injury Lawyer, Jeffrey Killino believes kids harmed by defective OHVs and other dangerous products deserve compensation for their pain and suffering. If your child or teenager sustained a severe or fatal injury while riding an OHV, please call our law firm toll-free at 877-875-2927 to speak with a top personal injury attorney and learn more about your legal rights.
OHV Accident Statistics: Kids Account for 16% of All Fatalities
The term OHV describes any motorized land vehicle predominantly used for recreational purposes on unimproved roads, trails, and other approved-use areas not suitable for conventional two-wheel-drive vehicles. Unlike ATVs, UTVs and ROVs are equipped with a steering wheel rather than a handlebar, bucket or bench seating instead of straddle seating, and foot controls for throttle and braking rather than levers located on the handlebar.
UTVs and ROVs are also built with rollover protection systems (ROPs) and restraint systems. They are typically sturdier than an ATV and usually feature side-by-side (SXS) seating for a passenger or passengers. Some UTVs are even equipped with doors and windshields.
While these features make a UTV/ROV somewhat safer than an ATV, they aren’t without risk. In fact, according to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), ROVs and UTVs were implicated in 539 fatal injuries from 2015 through 2017, including 20 accidents that resulted in multiple deaths. Children under the age of 16 accounted for 16% of all OHV fatalities (including ATVs, UTVs, and ROVs) reported during that period, while 8% of the reported deaths involved kids under 12.
Common Causes of OHV-Related Deaths
Rollover crashes are the leading cause of OHV fatalities. According to the CPSC report, forward and backward overturns can occur as a vehicle is descending or ascending steep terrain, while rollovers on flat terrain are usually the result of an operator attempting to quickly navigate a sharp turn. UTV and ROV rollovers are especially consequential and account for roughly 1/5 of the fatalities involving these vehicles.
Collisions (with other vehicles or stationary objects, such as trees, people, or animals) were also a frequent cause of OHV fatalities. In fact, collisions account for approximately 16% of the deaths involving ROVs or UTVs.
Roughly 80% of those killed in ROV/UTV accidents were partially or fully ejected from the vehicle.
ROV and UTV Accidents: Most Common Injuries.
Because of their windshields, side-by-side seating, and steering wheel, many people mistakenly assume that ROVs and UTVs are just as safe as traditional passenger vehicles. But nothing could be further from the truth, as they lack both the stability and safety features typical of conventional automobiles. As a result, even a seemingly minor crash may cause severe, catastrophic, and even deadly injuries.
- Head Injuries: Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries are by far the most common injuries reported in connection with OHV accidents.
- Bone Fractures: Riders may sustain arm and leg fractures or break their collar bone if they’re ejected from an OHV or if the vehicle rolls on top of them.
- Spinal Cord, Neck, and Back Injuries: Riders ejected from an OHV may suffer severe spinal cord injuries, potentially leading to full or partial paralysis. If someone’s been ejected from an OHV, they should not be moved or attempt to move, especially if they complain of pain in their back or neck.
- Internal Bleeding: The impact of a crash may cause internal bleeding and severe damage to vital organs. Because these types of injuries aren’t always immediately apparent, it’s a good idea to seek medical attention after any OHV accident, even if riders don’t appear to be hurt.
- Burns: If an OHV’s fuel line ruptures during a crash, gasoline will leak or spill from the vehicle. Drivers and their passengers may suffer painful and disfiguring burns if the fuel comes in contact with an ignition source and catches fire.
Recent UTV and ROV Recalls
While many OHV accidents and injuries result from operator error, driver inexperience, and hazardous road conditions, a significant percentage are caused by faulty vehicles and vehicle components. In fact, since 2019, manufacturers have announced more than a dozen recalls for dangerously defective UTVs and ROVs.
Honda Talon 1000 ROV Recall
Most recently, on March 9, 2022, American Honda recalled around 32,000 Honda Talon 1000 ROVs because of a faulty intake funnel band screw that could loosen and enter the engine through the intake funnel, resulting in sudden engine failure. Honda has received 16 reports of loose intake funnel band screws entering the engine, resulting in engine damage/failure. In one instance, a driver lost control of a vehicle, resulting in a crash with minor injuries to the occupants.
This recall involves Model Year 2019 – 2021 Honda Talon 1000 S2 and S4 ROVs. The vehicles were sold in various colors, including red, blue, green, gray, and yellow. “HONDA” is printed on the front, sides, and rear of each vehicle. “Talon” is printed on a label located on both sides of the vehicle. The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) number is stamped on the frame on the left side under the left front fender.
The recalled vehicles were sold by authorized Honda Powersports dealers nationwide from March 2019 through January 2022 for between $20,000 and $27,000. Consumers who purchased these ROVs should contact an authorized Honda Powersports dealer to schedule a free inspection and repair appointment. Honda is also contacting all known purchasers directly.
American LandMaster UTV Recall
On February 16, 2022, American LandMaster recalled roughly 1,050 EV, L3, L4, L5, L5W, and L7 UTVs because of a steering shaft that can separate from the joint and result in a loss of control, posing crash and injury hazards. American LandMaster has received seven reports of the steering shaft separating, but no injuries have been reported.
This recall involves American LandMaster utility vehicles series EV, L3, L4, L5, L5W, and L7, equipped with standard (non-power) steering and manufactured between March 2021 and October 2021. They were sold in red, blue, and camouflage colors. LandMaster and the model name appear on the frame near the front left wheel of the vehicles. The model year and date of manufacture can be found on a data plate behind the vehicle’s pedals.
The recalled UTVs were sold at American LandMaster dealers nationwide from March 2021 through October 2021 for between $7,200 and $12,700.
Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled UTVs and contact American LandMaster to receive instructions for conducting an inspection to determine if their vehicle requires repair. Alternatively, they may make an appointment for a no-cost inspection and, if necessary, full repair from an authorized repair shop. American LandMaster is also contacting all registered owners directly.
Hisun Motors 250 CC UTV Recall
On December 15, 2021, Hisun Motors recalled approximately 2,500 250 CC UTVs because grass can accumulate in the vehicle’s underside near the exhaust pipe, creating a fire hazard. The company has received five reports of vehicle fires, but no injuries have been reported.
This recall involves Hisun Motors Corp. U.S.A. Sector 250cc and RK Performance 250cc utility vehicles. Hisun and the model name are printed on the frame near the vehicle’s right rear wheel. They were available in red, blue, and camouflage colors and sold at Rural King stores nationwide and at independent motorsport dealers from November 2014 through June 2021 for about $5,000.
Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled UTVs and contact Hisun U.S.A. for a free consumer-installable repair kit. They can also arrange to take the vehicle to an approved service center for a free repair.
Kubota RTV-X1100C Model UTV Recall
In November 2021, Kubota recalled nearly 49,000 RTV-X1100C Model UTVs because the vehicles’ floormats can warp or degrade and interfere with the throttle pedal, posing crash and injury hazards. Kubota has received one report of a loss of control that resulted in black eyes and minor bruising.
This recall involves Model Year 2013 through 2021 base model Kubota RTV-X1100C Utility Vehicles. Specific models may include an additional letter after the “C,” for example, 1100CR. Recalled units have serial numbers ranging from 10001 through 67546. The model number is on the side of the unit and the data plate, which is also on the side of the unit. The serial number is also on the data plate.
The vehicles were sold at Authorized Kubota dealers nationwide from April 2013 through September 2021 for between $21,300 and $22,950.
Consumers who purchased these UTVs should immediately stop using the recalled vehicles and contact an authorized Kubota dealer. Dealers will either replace warped or degraded floormats or complete a modification to an existing floormat that is not already warped or degraded. Kubota is contacting all known consumers directly.
John Deere Gator UTV Recall
In May 2021, John Deere recalled approximately 90 Gator UTVs because of a software issue that could cause the speedometer and other speed-related safety systems to malfunction, potentially resulting in a crash or injury. The company has received four reports of speedometers malfunctioning. No injuries have been reported.
This recall involves John Deere Gator utility vehicles with model number “XUV590” or “XUV590 S4” printed on the hood. “John Deere” and “Gator” are printed on the cargo box. The serial number is located on the frame on the rear of the machine above the hitch and begins with 1M0590. The recalled utility vehicles were sold in green and yellow, olive drab, and camouflage and have four-wheel suspension with side-by-side seating for two or four people.
The affected vehicles were sold at John Deere dealers nationwide from October 2020 through April 2021 for between $11,100 and $14,100.
Consumers who purchased these UTVs should stop using the vehicles and contact an authorized John Deere dealer for a free software update. John Deere is contacting all known purchasers directly.
Huffy Torex Ride-on Toy UTV Recall
In December 2020, Huffy recalled around 5,150 Torex Ride-on Toy UTVs that can unexpectedly move while the battery is connected after recharging, posing an injury hazard. Huffy received 36 incident reports related to this issue, but no injuries have been reported so far.
This recall involves Huffy-branded Torex 24-volt ride-on toy UTVs (model number 17249), which measure 53 inches long, 43 inches wide, and 27 inches tall when assembled. They are black with red trim and have “Torex” labels on the front and side. The recalled toy UTVs were manufactured between June 2019 and November 2019 with date codes: 16919, 17119, 18019, 19019, 20019, 20219, 20519, 24819, 24919, 25019, 25219, 25319, 25419, 32219, 32319 and 33719. The model number and date code are located under the left rear wheel well above the left rear wheel. They were sold at Walmart stores nationwide and online at www.walmart.com from August 2019 through September 2020 for about $500.
Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled toy UTV and contact Huffy for a free replacement controller.
Polaris Ranger XP Off-Road Vehicle Recalls
On April 16, 2020, Polaris recalled roughly 80,000 Model Year 2018 – 2020 Ranger XP 1000 & CREW XP 1000 Off-Road Vehicles with a defective clutch that posed a fire hazard. Polaris received four reports of clutch belts breaking that resulted in fuel line damage and fires. No injuries have been reported.
This recall involves Model Year 2018 – 2020 Ranger XP 1000 & CREW XP 1000 Off-Road Vehicles. The affected vehicles came in green, titanium, camo, suede (metallic gray), red, gray, white, blue, maroon, bronze, orange and black and have two or four seats. VINs included in this recall can be found on a label affixed to the vehicle frame in the left front wheel well. “Polaris” is stamped on the front grille and “Ranger” is on the sides of the utility bed.
The recalled off-road vehicles were sold at Polaris dealers nationwide from October 2016 through October 2019 for between $15,300 and $27,500.
Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled vehicles and contact a Polaris dealer to schedule a free inspection and repair. Polaris also notified dealers and contacted affected registered owners directly.
Polaris Pro XD and Ranger UTV Recall
That same day, Polaris also recalled more than 10,000 Model Year 2019 PRO XD and Model Year 2020 Ranger UTVs because with defective seatbelts that could cause injury in the event of a tip-over or roll-over accident.
This recall involves model Year 2019 PRO XD and model year 2020 Ranger utility vehicles. The vehicles were sold in black, blue, camo, gray, and green colors and had two or four seats. “POLARIS” is stamped on the front grille and “POLARIS PRO XD” or “Ranger” on the sides of the utility bed. VINs included in this recall can be found on a label affixed to the vehicle frame in the left front wheel well. The affected UTVs were sold at Polaris dealers nationwide from October 2019 through December 2019 for between $9,500 and $24,000.
Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled vehicles and contact a Polaris dealer to schedule a free inspection and repair. Polaris also notified dealers and contacted registered owners directly.
Kawasaki MULE PRO Recall
In March 2020, Kawasaki recalled around 80,000 MULE PRO off-highway utility vehicles because the steering shaft could develop excessive wear. This defect could ultimately affect steering control, resulting in a crash hazard that places riders at risk of injury or death. Kawasaki received 453 incident reports involving steering problems. Fortunately, no injuries have been reported so far.
This recall involves 2015 through 2020 MULE PRO-FX, MULE PRO-FXR, MULE PRO-FXT, and 2016 – 2020 MULE PRO-DX and MULE PRO-DXT sold in black, green, white, red, bronze, silver, camo, and blue. They have side-by-side seating for three to six people and automotive-style controls. MULE PRO is printed on the right and left front fender. The model name is printed on the right and left fender. The vehicles are available as either gas or diesel models. The diesel models have DIESEL printed on the right and left rear of the cargo bed. The VIN is located between the right front lower A-arm mounts on the steel frame. The recalled vehicles were sold at Kawasaki dealers nationwide from July 2014 through January 2020 for between $12,000 and $17,000.
Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled UTVS and contact a Kawasaki dealer to schedule a free repair. Kawasaki also contacted all known purchasers directly.
Bobcat UTV Recall
On January 30, 2020, the Bobcat Company recalled more than 520 Model Year 2017-2018 Bobcat 3650 UTVs because of a faulty rear brake line that could puncture and cause a crash.
This recall involves Model Year 2017-2018 Bobcat 3650 UTVs manufactured by Polaris. The vehicles are white and black with orange decals, have Bobcat” printed on the hood and “3650” printed on the rear box. The VINs can be found on a label affixed to the vehicle frame under the seat and storage bin on the passenger side. The recalled UTVs were sold at Bobcat dealers nationwide from May 2016 through February 2019 for between $24,000 and $29,000.
Consumers should immediately stop using the affected vehicles and contact a Bobcat dealer to schedule a free inspection and repair. Bobcat also notified dealers and contacted affected registered owners directly.
Polaris PRO XD and BRUTUS UTV Recalls
That same day, Polaris recalled two of its own UTVs because of the same rear brake line defect.
The first involved around 760 Model Year 2019 Polaris PRO XD UTVs in two- and four-seat configurations of models 4000D, 2000D, and 200D 4X2. The recalled utility vehicles are gray, black, and orange with “POLARIS” stamped on the front grille, “POLARIS COMMERCIAL” on the sides of the utility bed, and “PRO XD” on the front fenders. VINs are affixed to the vehicle frame in the left front wheel well. They were sold at Polaris dealers nationwide from November 2017 through November 2019 for between $14,600 and $17,750.
The second recall involved 340 Model Year 2017-2018 Brutus UTVs with the following model names:
- 2017: BRUTUS DSL HD PTO DLX
- 2018: BRUTUS DSL HD PTO
- 2019: BRUTUS DSL HD PTO DLX
The two-seated vehicles are gray, black, and blue. They have “POLARIS” stamped on the front grille, “POLARIS BRUTUS” on the sides of the utility bed, and “DIESEL HD” on the front fenders. Included VINs can be found on a label affixed to the vehicle frame in the left front wheel well. Non-sequential VINs ending in 7740364 to 8576615 are included in this recall action. These vehicles were also sold at Polaris dealers nationwide, but from May 2016 through April 2019 for between $18,800 and $24,100.
Polaris received eight reports of rear brake failures associated with the recalled PRO XD UTVs and one report of brake line rupture involving a BRUTUS UTV. No injuries, collisions, crashes, or deaths were reported.
Consumers who purchased one of the recalled Polaris UTVs should contact an authorized dealer to schedule a free inspection and repair. Polaris is also notifying dealers and contacting affected registered owners directly.
Tips for Keeping Your Kids Safe While Off-Roading
If you plan to take your kids off-roading in an ROV or UTV, be sure to follow these tips for keeping everyone safe:
- Never allow kids under the age of 16 to operate an adult ROV or UTV. Make sure they have a valid drivers’ license before allowing them to get behind the wheel.
- Anyone intending to drive an ROV, UTV, or other OHV should take a hands-on safety training course.
- NEVER drive an ROV or UTV on paved roads.
- Never drink and Drive when operating a UTV or ROV
- Everyone riding should wear a helmet.
- All riders should wear protective gear such as eye protection, boots, gloves, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt.
- Always fasten seat belts and ensure riders keep all body parts inside the vehicle.
- Never have more passengers than seatbelts and never carry passengers in cargo beds.
- Never transport passengers who cannot place both feet on the floorboard with their backs against the seat. That means no children still of car seat or booster age.
Contact an Experienced Child Injury Lawyer
Child Injury Lawyer Jeffrey Killino and his law firm have earned nationwide recognition for their aggressive pursuit of justice on behalf of those injured or tragically killed due to defective vehicles and other dangerous products. If your son or daughter suffered a severe or deadly injury while riding an ROV or UTV, you and your family might be eligible to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit on their behalf. To learn more, please do not hesitate to contact us at 1-877-875- 2927.