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Rhino ATV Rollovers Lawyers
The Yamaha Rhino has been a popular all-terrain vehicle since being introduced in 2003. Passengers sit side-by-side as they would in a car and there is an area in the rear to store cargo. Rhinos can also be extremely dangerous if they rollover.
Severe injuries to the ankle, foot and leg, as well as broken bones and lacerations have been reported. There were also instances where limbs had to be amputated or where death occurred. Children have usually been the victims when a Rhino ATV rolls over.
Rollovers occur most often on the Rhino 450 and Rhino 660 as they make sharp turns, even on level ground. This is due to the ATV's high center of gravity and narrow wheel base which makes it top-heavy.
Before 2008 the Rhino models were sold without doors, though these could be added as an accessory. They are half doors designed to keep your feet and legs inside the vehicle in the event of a rollover. However, they may unlatch during a rollover and they have done little to prevent injuries. The owner's manual stresses that operators and passengers should wear seatbelts while riding in a Rhino ATV.
Prior to installing half doors, Yamaha sent a letter to owners of Rhino ATVs stating that there was a rollover risk and recommending what the driver should do if the ATV began to tip. It also warned that anyone inside a tipping ATV should keep their arms and legs inside the vehicle. However, there was no mention in the letter that doors could be installed, and there was no Rhino recall.
In 2008 the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) investigated the many hundreds of reports of injury and death caused by Rhino rollovers. The reports covered the years 2003 through 2008. They found that 46 deaths had occurred, of either the driver or passenger, and several hundred injuries, not all serious. In many of the fatal incidents, no seatbelts were being worn.
Rhino Recall and Repair Offer
In March, 2009 the CPSC, in conjunction with Yamaha, announced a recall of Rhino models 450, 660, and 700. Yamaha also offered to repair these ATVs at no charge if you take them to a dealer.
Yamaha will have half-doors installed if there were none previously. To help correct the top-heavy Rhino design, the Yamaha dealer will also remove the rear anti-sway bar and put a spacer on the back wheels.
Before placing these Rhino models back on the market, Yamaha will make these same improvements to them all so that the public will be buying a safer ATV.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Rhino ATV rollover in the Mobile, Alabama area, please contact the experienced personal injury law firm of Long & Waite for a free consultation.
Contact our ATV Accident Attorneys in Mobile and Baldwin County, Alabama today!