Yamaha Recalls Big Bear ATVs Due to Crash Hazard

by Michael Heygood

Yamaha has announced the recall of 2012 Yamaha Big Bear 400 All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs). According to the recall, the front shock absorber on these ATVs can break apart and cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle, posing a crash hazard.

Yamaha is aware of 14 incidents of the front shocks breaking apart. According to the company, no injuries have been reported. Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled ATVs and contact their local Yamaha dealer to schedule a free repair.

The recalled ATVS were sold at Yamaha ATV dealers nationwide from August 2012 to May 2012. The recall covers four-wheeled Yamaha Big Bear 400 ATVs that were made in 2012.The model numbers YFM40FBBGR, YFM40FBBL and YFM40FGBGR can be found on the left and right side panels of the unit. The ATVs are blue, green or camouflage and have black gear racks on the front and back. The VIN number is stamped on the frame just behind the front left wheel. The letter “C” in the 10th position of the VIN indicates the ATV was made in 2012.

Heygood, Orr & Pearson and ATV lawsuits

The first ATVs were three-wheeled vehicles designed for farm use. In 1988, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission imposed a 10-year ban on their use due to their dramatic injury rates. Since the expiration of that ban and the development of four-wheeled vehicles, ATVs have became much more powerful and there has been a corresponding rise in ATV-associated injuries in all age groups, especially in young riders.

Although only 15 percent of ATV riders are children, some studies show that children account for approximately 27 percent of ATV-related injuries and 28 percent of ATV-related deaths. More than a quarter of the total 10,281 deaths reported from 1982 to 2009 were children younger than 16 years.

In 2010, there were 726 total estimated ATV-related deaths (590 reported deaths) and 115,000 estimated number of emergency-room treated injuries. The 2009 numbers were similar: an estimated 765 deaths and 131,900 emergency-room treated injuries.

Companies that manufacture ATVS and other vehicles have a duty to build a product that is as safe as can be made under the technology that is available to them. These companies are obligated to design vehicles so that they are as safe as possible for any reasonably foreseeable use. When vehicles are not constructed to meet safety standards, the lives of ATV drivers, including children, may be at risk.

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in an ATV accident, your injuries may have been caused or worsened by design or manufacturing defects with the vehicle. In order to determine whether you may have a case, you need to retain the services of experienced, qualified legal counsel as soon as possible.

At Heygood, Orr & Pearson, we have the experience, knowledge and expertise to pursue a product liability or personal injury claim against any of the major manufacturers. To speak with a lawyer about your case and find out if you are eligible to file a lawsuit, contact Heygood, Orr & Pearson by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by filling out our free case evaluation form located on this page.