Congress Turns to the GAO, after NHTSA Blows Deadlines

Last Wednesday, a trio from the House Energy and Commerce Committee, including its powerful chair Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ) asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to find out why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has dragged its feet in completing nearly 20 Congressionally mandated rulemakings and reports in the last seven years.

Everything Old is New Again: Polaris is Back to Issuing Fire Hazard Recalls

Three months after Consumer Federation of America and the Safety Record Blog called out Polaris for sidestepping the recall process and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission for allowing the troubled manufacturer to do so, Polaris recalls have come back into fashion.

Cobalt Cover-Up

Brooke Melton died on her 29th birthday. It was the evening of March 10, 2010, and Melton, a pediatric nurse, had just finished work and was headed to meet up with her boyfriend for a celebration dinner, when the ignition module of her 2005 Cobalt slipped into the accessory position as she drove along Highway 92 in Paulding County, Ga. Melton’s Cobalt lost all power and skidded into another vehicle. She died of her injuries. The roads were wet from rain earlier that day, and the police attributed the crash to Melton driving too fast for the conditions.

Polaris Issues Stop Sale/Stop Rides, Where’s the CPSC?

Between June and December, Polaris issued five Stop Sale/Stop Ride notices for some 92,000 off-road vehicles. These vehicles are the newest model years of vehicles that have been continually recalled since 2013. Not one announcement could be found on the CPSC website – in fact, the CPSC itself was nowhere to be found in this process of alerting consumers.

Polaris: Information Black-Out as Vehicles Burn

In May 2018, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission closed out its oversight of a 2016 Polaris safety campaign. Recall 16-146 was the single largest of 13 Polaris fire-related recalls, covering some 133,000 Model Year 2013-2016 RZR 900 and RZR 1000 recreational off-highway vehicles. These models also remain among the Medina, Minnesota, company’s most hazardous, responsible – at the time of the recall – for more than 160 reports of fires and 19 injuries, including second- and third-degree burns and the death of a 15-year-old girl.

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