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Honda Recalls ATV for Steering Defect

May 9, 2008 | Parker Waichman LLP

Honda ATVs (All Terrain Vehicles) have been recalled because of a defect that could cause them to lose steering control.  The steering defect, which affects about 1,400 Model Year 2008 Honda TRX500 ATVs, has not resulted in any reported injuries.

ATVs
can be very dangerous vehicles, even in the best of circumstances. According to data collected by the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), ATVs killed more than 500 people in 2006 and of those victims nearly 1 on in 5 was a child.  In addition to ATV deaths, accidents involving these vehicles sent 146,600 people to hospital emergency rooms that same year.   .  Some 75% of the ATV accidents result in serious damage to the head or spinal cord of the accident victim. Head injuries are a major cause of serious life threatening or lifelong physical problems and ailments. Injury to the spinal cord can result in paralysis of the entire body for life. In its annual report released in February, the CPSC said Pennsylvania has had the highest number of reported ATV deaths since 1982, followed by California, West Virginia, Texas and Kentucky. Every state had at least one death attributed to ATVs.

ATV recalls are also not unusual.  In March, Yamaha Motor Corp. recalled some of its popular Rhino models for a brake defect, and in February, Polaris doubled a previous recall of its Sportsman and Scrambler ATVs because of a fire hazard.  According to the CPSC, this latest recall involves Model Year 2008 Honda TRX500 ATVs equipped with electric power steering, also known as the Honda FourTrax Foreman 4X4 with electric power steering. The adult-size ATVs are designed for use by riders age 16 and older. The ATVs are available in red, black, olive, white, and camouflage. “Honda” and wing logo are printed on the fuel tank and “TRX500” is printed on the side panel just below the seat.  The recalled Honda ATVs were sold at Honda ATV dealers nationwide from October 2007 through March 2008 for between $6,850 and $7,400.

The CPSC says the electric power steering shaft of the recalled ATVs could break unexpectedly, resulting in the rider’s losing steering control. This poses a risk of injury or death to riders. Consumers should stop using these recalled ATVs immediately and contact any Honda ATV dealer to make an appointment for a free repair. Honda has sent direct notices of the ATV recall to registered owners.  For additional information, consumers can contact Honda toll-free at (866) 784-1870 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday, or visit the company’s website at www.powersports.honda.com



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