Yamaha Rhino Rollover accidents have injured – and even killed – many people since the Yamaha Rhino all terrain vehicles (ATVs) were first introduced in 2003. While all ATVs have been implicated in dangerous rollover accidents, design defects inherent in the Yamaha Rhino 660 and Rhino 450 ATVs make rollover accidents far more likely during sharp turns, even when the Rhino is traveling on a flat surface at a low rate of speed. In August 2007, Yamaha Motor Corp. announced that it was offering to make modifications to the defective Rhino 660 and 450 ATVs in an effort to make the vehicles safer.
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Rhino ATV Defects
The Yamaha Rhino ATV is top heavy, and it has tires that are extremely narrow. These design defects make it far more likely that the Yamaha Rhino will tip and rollover while going through a turn, even when the vehicle is traveling at a slow speed and is on a flat surface. Furthermore, the Yamaha Rhino is designed in such a way that passengers’ legs are unprotected in the event of a rollover accident.
The design defects of the Yamaha Rhino ATV have been implicated in many serious – and sometimes fatal – injuries. Victims of Yamaha Rhino rollover accidents usually experience broken or crushed legs, ankles or feet. In some cases, victims have been permanently disabled, and have had limbs amputated following a Yamaha Rhino rollover accident. When Yamaha Rhino rollover accidents involve children, the results are often fatal.
In September 2006, Yamaha Motor Corp. sent a letter to the owners of Rhino ATVs warning that the Rhino was prone to tip while going through sharp turns. However, the wording of the Yamaha letter seemed to place much of the blame for Rhino rollover accident injuries on the victims themselves. Yamaha warned passengers of the Rhino ATVs to use seatbelts, and to keep their hands, arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times. The letter also included information on handling the Rhino if it should start to tip over. But since Yamaha sent the 2006 letter, it has become increasingly apparent that the actions recommended by Yamaha do little to protect passengers involved in Rhino rollover accidents. Rather, it is the design defects inherent in the Rhino ATVs that make it likely that riders in the vehicles will sustain serious – and possibly fatal – injuries during a Rhino rollover accident.
Yamaha Rhino ATV Modifications
Finally, in 2007 Yamaha took steps to provide more protection to the owners and passengers of its defective Rhino ATVs. Yamaha offered to modify all Rhino ATVs free of charge. These modifications included new doors and additional passenger handholds for the Rhino.
These modifications were offered to all purchasers of Rhino vehicles, whether they bought their ATVs new or used. Yamaha also provided more warning labels for the Rhino ATVs and updated the Rhino owners manual to include information about the modifications and rollover risks. Unfortunately, these actions on the part of Yamaha were of no help to those already injured in Yamaha Rhino rollover accidents.
Legal Help for Yamaha Rhino ATV Rollover Accident Victims
If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury as a result of a Yamaha Rhino rollover accident, you have valuable legal rights. Please fill out our online form or call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) to speak with an experienced Yamaha Rhino rollover accident injury attorney.