The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced that the sales of the 450, 660, and 700 model Rhino ATV vehicles have been stopped until free safety repairs can be made by Yamaha Motor Corp.
Approximately 120,000 models 450 and 660 Rhinos have been distributed nationwide since Fall 2003. This recall is in response to the 46 deaths that have been associated with these vehicles, as well as numerous serious injuries related to rollover accidents. Yamaha is also voluntarily implementing the same repair program and suspending sales for the Rhino 700 model. About 25,000 Rhino 700s are part of the recall. So far 200 lawsuits have been filed against Yamaha concerning the Rhino.
The repairs to be made on the vehicles include the installation of a spacer on the rear wheels and the removal of the rear anti-sway bar. Those changes are intended to reduce rollover and to improve handling of the vehicle. Free door and handhold installations are also in effect for models released prior to 2008.
Recalls and repairs to the Rhino are not new. Yamaha has distributed warning stickers for consumers to place on the vehicle concerning the crushing danger on models without doors. In 2007, the company offered free installation of doors and handholds to prevent leg and arm injuries. Those features became standard on newer models. The company has also recalled the vehicle to repair problems with the front tire brakes.
Many of the problems associated with the Rhino have been linked to its high center of gravity and powerful motor which has been known to cause the vehicle to roll over even at low speeds.
The CPSC advises owners of the affected Rhinos to stop using them and call their dealer to schedule an appointment to have repairs made and to take advantage of a free helmet offer.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Rhino rollover accident, please call the South Carolina product liability attorneys at the Louthian Law Firm at toll free at (803) 454-1200 today for a free consultation. Or use our convenient online form. At the Louthian Law Firm, we fully believe in the rights of the consumer to purchase, own and operate a safe product. Manufacturers of defective products should be held accountable for the injuries they inflict. We have successfully represented the rights of victims since 1959 and we are here to help you.