The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced a free repair program to address safety issues with all Rhino 450, 660, and 700 model off-highway recreational vehicles. Yamaha Motor Corp. U.S.A. has suspended sale of these models immediately until they are repaired. Consumers should immediately stop using these already dangerous recreational vehicles until the repair is installed by a dealer.
CPSC staff has investigated more than 50 incidents involving 46 driver and passenger deaths in these two Rhino models. More than two-thirds of the cases involved rollovers. Of the rollover-related deaths and hundreds of reported injuries, some of which were serious, as we have reported, many appear to involve turns at relatively low speeds and on level terrain. About 120,000 of the 450 and 660 model Rhinos have been distributed nationwide since Fall 2003. Some units have been equipped by Yamaha with half doors and additional passenger handholds, either before or after sale.
Yamaha’s repair includes the installation of a spacer on the rear wheels as well as the removal of the rear anti-sway bar to help reduce the chance of rollover and improve vehicle handling, and continued installation of half doors and additional passenger handholds where these features have not been previously installed to help keep occupants’ arms and legs inside the vehicle during a rollover and reduce injuries. Owners of the affected Rhinos should stop using them and call their dealer to schedule an appointment to have repairs made once they are available and to take advantage of a free helmet offer.
Yamaha is also voluntarily implementing the same repair program and suspension of sale for the Rhino 700 model, in order to ensure customer satisfaction. Consumers should stop riding the 700 model until it is repaired. About 25,000 Rhino 700s are part of this repair program. Once these repairs have been made to their vehicles, Rhino users should always wear their helmet and seat belt and follow the safety instructions and warnings in the on-product labels, owner’s manuals and other safety materials. For additional information on Rhino problems generally, you can contact Cole Portis or Chris Glover at our firm at 800-898-2034 or by email at Cole.Portis@beasleyallen.com or Chris.Glover@beasleyallen.com. You can also visit Yamaha’s Web site at www.yamaha-motor.com for information on this recall.
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