Yamaha Rhino recall should be issued to protect consumers

Austin Kirk

By Austin Kirk
Posted March 6, 2008


The Yamaha Rhino ATV was designed and marketed as a vehicle which was capable of off-road operation for a wide variety of potential uses. However, as a result of an unreasonable design, it can easily become unstable and rollover, even under normal operating conditions. Despite numerous reports of serious injuries, a Yamaha Rhino recall still has not been issued.

>>INFORMATION: Yamaha Rhino Rollover Problems

In June 2003, the Yamaha Rhino was introduced as a four wheeling vehicle with versatility and “terrainability”, which indicates that it is safe to operate on almost any type of terrain. Thousands of Rhinos have been sold every month over the past five years, and a substantial number of users have suffered severe fractures or crush injuries to their legs and arms as a result of the vehicle rolling over.

Yamaha designed the Rhino ATV with a high center of gravity, making it top heavy. When they combined that with a narrow frame and small wheels, it resulted in a very unstable four wheeler which is more prone to rollovers than other similar ATV. Yamaha Rhino rollovers have been reported at speeds as low as 13 miles per hour.

In September 2006, Yamaha acknowledged the rollover problem with their four wheelers, but they did not issue a Rhino recall. Instead, they sent a letter to owners indicating that the Rhino ATV was prone to tip while going around sharp turns and cautioned users against sticking their arms or legs outside of the vehicle as it began to roll. In the letter, Yamaha attempted to suggest that the Rhino rollovers were caused by user error, even though the crashes have occurred under normal use, at slow speeds and on flat surfaces.

Yamaha also provided owners with a new warning label to place inside of the vehicle to remind passengers that they should not stick their arm or leg outside of the ATV in an attempt to stop it from rolling over. Unfortunately, given the design defects of the ATV, which did not contain doors until the 2008 model, it is often impossible for occupants to keep their arms and legs inside the vehicle during a rollover. As a result, the weight of the vehicle can crushes the leg during an ATV crash, often leaving occupants with severe and permanently disabling injuries.

In August 2007, Yamaha offered free modifications to the Rhino four wheelers to make them safer by adding small doors and additional passenger-side handholds. However, the vehicle remains unstable and Yamaha has refused to offer refunds to owners who no longer want to accept the risk that their ATV my rollover during normal use. In addition, some owners have reported that they have had difficulty obtaining the after-market doors and handles, due to dealer shortages.


The lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are investigating potential Yamaha Rhino Lawsuits on behalf of riders who suffered severe fractures, head injuries or death during a rollover accident. Even with the addition of the after-market doors, the Rhino ATV is an unreasonably dangerous vehicle and users have not been adequately cautioned about the extent of the risk they face by riding in the 4- wheeler. By refusing to issue a Yamaha Rhino recall, the manufacturer has placed profits ahead of the safety of their customers.

If you, a friend or family member have suffered injuries in an ATV crash, request a free consultation with our Yamaha Rhino lawyers.

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