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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello,

I just joined the forum. I have a 2015 Polaris Ranger 900 with approximately 5,000 miles. On Sunday afternoon (9/12) my 15 year old niece and I were returning from bow hunting scouting. We had not been rough riding and I don't rough trail ride at all. I was driving about 45 mph down a gravel road. Out of nowhere the machine dove to the right and we front rolled in the ditch due to the front right tire locking up and pulling us into the ditch. The machine landed back on its wheels. My brother brought us to the ER. I have a two fractured vertebrae in my neck and a large gash on my forehead and my niece has internal bleeding and a bad concussion. We should be ok long term, but I meet with a neurosurgeon on Thursday and my niece is still in the hospital being monitored.

I do all of my own maintenance and feel like I had kept the machine in tip top shape. After inspecting the machine after the accident I found the front right a-arm was snapped near the internal pivot. I found out that Polaris happened to recall the model year 2018 Rangers due to a manufacturing defect in these a-arms. I found pictures of broken a-arms that looked exactly like my broken one. I happened to replace this a-arm in the spring of 2019 due to the original getting bent due to hitting a rock on a washed out trail. I purchased the replacement a-arm from my local Polaris dealer. I also replaced the bushings throughout the suspension due wear at this time.

My question is should I looking into sueing Polaris? Has anyone else been injured due to this issue? The machine is fully insured through American Family Insurance and I have submitted a claim. Thank you.

-Andrew
 

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Andrew, I'm glad that ya'll made it out of that. We have many "user error" accidents in our area during hunting season and usually see at least one death each year. Yours was not user error, it was a failed part.

I am not a lawyer but I am a mechanic. I work on about 150 Rangers a year and have only seen an a-arm failure due to an impact on one of the wheels. I have never seen one that failed just driving on a dirt road. I am aware of the recall and it seems that you might have a case against Polaris if it can be proven that the a-arm you purchased from the dealer was actually a recalled part. I think that may be difficult since they don't have part numbers on them nor dates of manufacture.
 

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So in response to Stephen's comment, I misspoke about recalling all 2018 Rangers. Polaris did recall some 2018 500, 570, and EV Rangers though due to this issue and I found multiple other instances of people breaking these a-arms with no known cause. It just blows my mind that this a-arm would fail while driving straight down a gravel road. The break is 100% fresh as there is no rust on it. Below is a link to this recall. https://www.wpsdlocal6.com/news/pol...cle_da48f7c2-32a1-5406-aaac-ccb7023229e2.html

As of now I won't need surgery, but I go in for another check-up in 4 weeks to see if my neck is healing correctly.

My lawyer and I plan to pursue analysis from a metallurgical professional to prove that the metal in the heat affected zone was weakened during the welding/manufacturing process. We have the original a-arm from the driver's side to compare it to.
 

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So in response to Stephen's comment, I misspoke about recalling all 2018 Rangers. Polaris did recall some 2018 500, 570, and EV Rangers though due to this issue and I found multiple other instances of people breaking these a-arms with no known cause. It just blows my mind that this a-arm would fail while driving straight down a gravel road. The break is 100% fresh as there is no rust on it. Below is a link to this recall. https://www.wpsdlocal6.com/news/pol...cle_da48f7c2-32a1-5406-aaac-ccb7023229e2.html

As of now I won't need surgery, but I go in for another check-up in 4 weeks to see if my neck is healing correctly.

My lawyer and I plan to pursue analysis from a metallurgical professional to prove that the metal in the heat affected zone was weakened during the welding/manufacturing process. We have the original a-arm from the driver's side to compare it to.
I would say it was mostly broke then decided to let go when you was up to speed......Good to hear you don't need surgery.....How's the niece doing ? :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So I guess I have to disagree with it being mostly broke, prior to last Sunday. The reason being is there is no rust in the break. Also, why in the world would this ever break unless it was subjected to an extremely abusive riding style and even then shouldn't it just bend. I believe the metal was weak near the weld on the internal pivot and it fatigued until it catastrophically failed.

My niece is able to go back to school today, but she'll be missing out on fall sports and can't drive any equipment or vehicles on the farm for the next three months.
 

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45 miles an hour is pretty dangerous on a loose gravel road. I personally find these rangers to be pretty tippy on dirt roads or even gravel roads because the tire tracks dont match up with full size pick up trucks. So glad to hear your niece is well enough for school.
Is the general or RZRs more stable on the road.

I wonder if it was poor welding that let go. My dealership said Polaris is having a very hard time hiring welders for there plant in Georgia. I wonder if some employees who are trained are not using proper heat or just that they are not skilled resulting in poor workmanship. I would have guessed they would of been using robotic welding equipment by now. My dealer said the lack of good welders is because of the pandemic.
Same excuse is being blamed on delay on new orders. Northstars are currently 8 months now my dealer said in Manitoba.
 

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45 miles an hour is pretty dangerous on a loose gravel road. I personally find these rangers to be pretty tippy on dirt roads or even gravel roads because the tire tracks dont match up with full size pick up trucks. So glad to hear your niece is well enough for school.
Is the general or RZRs more stable on the road.

I wonder if it was poor welding that let go. My dealership said Polaris is having a very hard time hiring welders for there plant in Georgia. I wonder if some employees who are trained are not using proper heat or just that they are not skilled resulting in poor workmanship. I would have guessed they would of been using robotic welding equipment by now. My dealer said the lack of good welders is because of the pandemic.
Same excuse is being blamed on delay on new orders. Northstars are currently 8 months now my dealer said in Manitoba.
One would think in this age of high tech and automation that welding of most chassis parts would be done by a machine. If they are depending totally on manpower to perform builds it's no wonder Polaris can't keep up with demand. People just don't want to work when they can get paid for staying home.
 
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