The Bad Boy Buggy
Lawyers in our firm continue to handle Bad Boy Buggy litigation involving injuries from the off-road vehicle. The Bad Boy Buggy was initially designed by a gentleman who owned an auto salvage yard in Natchez, Mississippi. It was a solid concept, and there was definitely a market for electric off-road vehicles. The vehicles run quietly, which makes them attractive to hunters, for example.
The static stability factor of the Bad Boy vehicles is very low due to a narrow track width and a high center of gravity. The vehicles are also very heavy, primarily because of the weight of all the internal batteries. When the Bad Boy Buggy turns over, it has the potential to cause major injury.
As of today, the Bad Boy Buggies are still not equipped with doors or adequate measures to prevent “leg-out injuries.” In 2007, Yamaha performed a recall on all of its Rhino vehicles because it was seeing numerous leg-out injuries when they tipped over. The problem is that in a side-by-side vehicle, the driver or passenger will reflexively put their foot out as the vehicle tips. The vehicle usually still has forward momentum as the tip-up occurs. As the occupant plants their foot on the ground, this momentum pulls it under the backside of the vehicle. Quite often, this causes severe fractures and even amputations.
Some Improvement – More Needed
The vehicle’s designers have added shoulder nets and seatbelts, which is certainly an improvement. Unfortunately, its foot-out protection is still lacking. Textron added a trip bar in the foot well area, which it claims is a foot-out preventative device. Despite its claim, Textron has performed no testing on the vehicle to see if the trip bar is effective. The vehicles have no protection for younger occupants or those of short stature because their legs may not reach the trip bar.
Hopefully, Textron, Inc. and its subsidiary Textron Specialty Vehicles, Inc. will recognize and act on the Bad Boy Buggy design flaw. For example, doors and netting would more effectively prevent leg-out, arm-out and hand-out injuries. In the meantime, some dangerous and defective vehicles are in use and are an extreme hazard for riders.
If you have any questions about a specific Bad Boy Buggy accident or need information on ongoing litigation, contact Greg Allen, our firm’s Senior Product Liability lawyer. Greg has successfully handled a number of cases involving the Bad Boy Buggy and currently has several in court.