Lawyers in our firm continue to handle cases involving injuries from the off-road vehicle known as the Bad Boy Buggy. The Buggy was initially designed by a gentleman who owned an auto salvage yard in Natchez, Miss. The concept was good and there definitely was a market for electric off-road vehicles. The vehicles are quiet, which makes them attractive to hunters. But unfortunately, the design of the buggy was poor. The company was sold a couple of times and now is owned by Textron, Inc. and the Buggies are manufactured in Augusta, Ga.
These vehicles are currently marketed for hunting and utility work, yet they are unstable on uneven terrain. The static stability factor of the Bad Boy vehicles is very low, caused by a narrow track width and a high center of gravity. The vehicles are very heavy, primarily because of the weight of the numerous batteries located internally. When the Bad Boy vehicle turns over it has the potential to cause significant injury.
As of today, the Bad Boy Buggies are still not equipped with doors or adequate measures to prevent “leg-out injuries.” Yamaha performed a recall on all of its Rhino vehicles in 2007 because it was seeing numerous leg-out injuries when the vehicles tipped over. The primary 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 and as the occupant plants their foot on the ground, it will be pulled under the backside of the vehicle. Quite often, this causes severe fractures and even amputations.
While Bad Boy has now upgraded its design to add a shoulder net and seatbelt, its foot-out protection is still very bad. Textron added a trip bar in the foot well area, which it claims is a foot-out preventative device. But Textron has performed no testing on the vehicle to see if the trip bar is effective. The vehicles have no protection for occupants who are younger or of short stature because their legs may not be long enough to reach the area where the leg-out device is located. These vehicles need doors and netting to prevent leg-out and arm and hand-out injuries.
Hopefully, Textron, Inc. and its subsidiary Textron Specialty Vehicles, Inc. will recognize the design flaw and start equipping their vehicles with doors and other proper safety devices to reduce the danger. In the meanwhile, some very bad and defective vehicles are in use and are an extreme hazard for folks who use them.
If you have any questions about a specific Bad Boy accident or need information on the ongoing litigation, contact Greg Allen, our firm’s Senior Product Liability lawyer, at 800-898-2034 or by email at [email protected]. Greg has successfully handled a number of cases involving the Bad Boy Buggy and currently has several in court.