For the last several months, we have written about one of the most dangerous ATVs on the market – the Yamaha Rhino. Its defective design has led to many adults and children being seriously injured and in some cases killed. Yamaha designed the Rhino to be narrow and top heavy and then the company selected small tires for the narrowly-designed ATV. These design features make the Rhino very unstable and easily prone to roll over. Rollovers of these ATVs occur even when the terrain is flat and the driver is turning at low speeds.
Now there appears to be another serious problem with the Rhino. Recently, Yamaha announced that it was recalling about 7800 Rhinos due to problems with the brakes. According to Yamaha’s recall announcement, the brake caliper on the left front wheel of the Rhino could have been made incorrectly, resulting in a brake fluid leak. This can cause a loss of braking and control of the vehicle, which poses a serious safety risk to the drivers and passengers of these vehicles. The recall involves 2008 Rhino YXR450 and YXR700 Side-by-Side vehicles sold nationwide from October 2007 through March 2008. Anybody who has one of these Rhinos should immediately stop using it and contact any authorized Yamaha Rhino dealer to schedule a free repair.
Unfortunately, the recall still does not address the safety and design defects of the older Rhinos, as discussed above, that continue to cause serious injuries and death. These Rhinos have been a source of controversy ever since they entered the market in 2003. Yamaha rushed the models to the market before it properly tested them. Yamaha has admitted that it did not do any dynamic testing of the Rhino to see what would happen to passengers in the event there was a rollover. In other words, Yamaha did not do the kind of testing it needed to keep drivers and passengers safe while in this ATV. Yamaha knew the Rhino had a high center of gravity, yet never asked the important question of what would happen to those who were inside this unstable vehicle when it rolled over. Yamaha failed to design doors or passenger handholds into the ATVs that would help protect occupants during a rollover. This lack of basic safety features will continue to cause severe injuries to uninformed consumers. Simply put, Yamaha has not done enough to address the Rhino’s defective design and people will continue to suffer traumatic injuries until more is done.
Our firm is currently looking at a number of Rhino cases. Mike Andrews is the contact lawyer on those cases for the firm. If you have any questions or need any information feel free to call him at 800-898-2034 or email him at Mike.Andrews@beasleyallen.com.
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