Apr 23, 2009

Defective Products : Yamaha’s Rhino Side by Side (SxS) ATV vehicles

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It was déjà vu all over again. Please be aware about the life-changing catastrophes resulting from preventable accidents.

One company associated with these types of accidents is Yamaha Motor Company, which manufactures the popular “Rhino” All Terrain Vehicle (ATV), also known as a side-by-side ( SxS )ATV vehicles, because its two seats are next to one another .

This ATV has been associated with serious and life-threatening risks to both its drivers and passengers because of defects in its design. There are more than 200 lawsuits in state and federal courts are currently filed against Yamaha, alleging that the Rhino is prone to rollover accidents.

The alleged design flaws in the Yamaha Rhino ATV have been linked to many rollover accidents. Rhino ATV injuries can be so severe they have required amputation of affected limbs. Some victims have been caught under the chassis in Rhino rollover accidents and died.

Even turns made on flat surfaces can result in the Rhino ATV rolling over, as stated in Yamaha’s own warning label for the Rhino ATV. Furthermore, due to the vehicle not having any doors, arms and legs can fall outside of the ATV as it rolls over, crushing them—even when the driver and passenger are wearing seat belts.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that more than 2 million ATV injuries and almost 9,000 ATV-related deaths have been reported between 1982 and 2007, according to its 2007 Annual Report of ATV-Related Deaths and Injuries.

In response to mounting criticism about the safety of the Rhino and the tendency of the vehicle to flip over, Yamaha officials blamed “aggressive driving” and “abrupt maneuvers” by drivers as the primary reason for the accidents. Yamaha also said that some occupants of Rhinos were injured in roll-over accidents when they placed their arms or legs outside the vehicle. The company failed to recognize that victims of roll-over ATV accidents are unable to control their arms and legs as they are violently thrown around inside the open passenger compartment during an accident.

Without admitting that the Rhino’s design is defective, Yamaha recently included an updated on-product warning label and announced that it would make design changes to the Rhino, which includes adding doors and additional passenger handholds to any 2004 to 2007 Rhino free of charge at a certified dealership.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a Yamaha Rhino Rollover accident, you have rights. You may be eligible for financial compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost income and other damages.

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