Design defects in the Yamaha Rhino ATV could cause the vehicle to rollover and crash. Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. is no longer accepting new claims for Yamaha Rhino accidents. The information on this page is provided for information purposes only.
The Yamaha Rhino ATV was sold to many people as a vehicle capable of off-road operation under a wide variety of conditions. However, as it was designed, it is unreasonably dangerous and Yamaha Rhino rollover problems have caused serious and life threatening injuries to many users.
When Yamaha developed the Rhino, they were entering a new market for side by side four wheeler ATVs, competing with vehicles like the Kawasaki Mule and John Deere Gator. However, in an attempt to gain an advantage, the Yamaha side by side ATV was designed to be faster and more agile. Unfortunately, Rhino design problems cause the vehicle to be very unstable and prone to roll over or crash.
The product liability lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. were investigating potential Yamaha Rhino lawsuits on behalf of individuals who suffered a severe or catastrophic injury in a Rhino rollover.
YAMAHA RHINO PROBLEMS
The Yamaha Rhino rollover problems are caused by decisions made during the development of the side by side four wheeler. The vehicle is very top heavy and contains small tires on a narrow frame. This makes the Rhino more likely to tip or rollover, even if it is being operated in a safe manner at slow speeds on a flat surface. Rollovers of Yamaha Rhinos have been observed at speeds as low as 13 miles per hour.
When the Rhino four wheeler was introduced in June 2003, it was marketed as a vehicle with versatility and “terrainability”, which indicates that it is safe to operate on almost any type of terrain. However, the Yamaha Rino rolls over with more frequency than other side by side 4-wheeling ATV.
REPORTS OF YAMAHA RHINO DEATHS AND SERIOUS INJURIES
Shortly after the Yamaha Rhino was introduced in 2003, reports of problems began to surface. The vehicle was initially sold without any doors, leaving the legs of drivers and passengers unprotected. In many cases, severe fractures and crush injuries occurred when the occupants’ arms or legs came out of the vehicle as it rolled over. In some cases, the force of the ATV crash pulled the entire body under the four wheeler, resulting in death.
In September 2006, Yamaha sent a letter to owners about the Rhino problems, which included information about what a user should do if the ATV tips over. However, even if those instructions are followed, in many cases, it remains impossible for operators and passengers to avoid serious injury in a Rhino accident.
A redesign of the Yamaha Rhino was for the 2008 model year, with the addition of small doors and additional passenger side hand-holds. Although Yamaha offered free modifications to existing vehicles in August 2007, they did not issue a Yamaha Rhino recall to address all of the problems, and they have refused to provide refunds to owners who still believe that the vehicle is unreasonably dangerous.