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Yamaha Rhino A Danger Off The Road

Posted on April 18, 2008

They look like small two-seater jeeps. The Yamaha Rhino are the latest fun vehicle blamed for serious injuries called by rollovers.

In March, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a voluntary recall of 2008 Rhino Side-by-Side vehicles because of a risk of brake failure that affects about 7,800 vehicles.  

But brakes are not their only problem.

In a rollover in the All Terrain Vehicle (ATV), victims are suffering devastating and debilitating injuries such as the loss of the lower limbs and serious head injuries.

In the 2006 Annual Report of ATV-Related Deaths and Injuries, the CPSC says deaths and injuries are rising from off-road motorized vehicles. From 1982 to 2006, 8,104 ATV-related deaths occurred. More than one-third of those who died are under the age of 16. Compare that to 29 deaths in 1982.

Yamaha knows it has a problem with the vehicle introduced in 2003.  Twice it’;s put stronger warning labels on the Rhino. The 2008 model is supposed to have doors and a grip handle.

But Yamaha has been slow in taking any action in the form of letters and revisions to the basic design. 

Risk of rollover, brake failure, head injuries, lower extremities crushed. It doesn’;t make these vehicles valued at between $8,000 to $12,000 look like a good time.

This week designers, engineers, Yamaha reps and lawyers met with the CPSC to discuss a revised design. Ironically, that meeting was closed to the public, even though the CPSC is funded by taxpayer dollars. Company secrets they whispered.

Under product liability law, manufacturers have an obligation to ensure their products are safe or at least warn of any hazards that could occur from using them.  

See the Product Liability section of our Farah & Farah website for more information on a product that should have never made it on the road.