Roll Over This

The Yamaha Rhino is a top-selling ATV (all-terrain vehicle), but the number of rollover accidents associated with the Rhino has prompted Yamaha Motor Corp. to issue a recall of more than 145,000 Rhinos. The Rhino is purported to be more prone to rollovers than other ATVs due to its top-heavy design. Yamaha plans to repair the recalled vehicles to make them more stable and less prone to rollovers.

There have been constant problems with the Rhino since Yamaha began selling it in 2003, and many feel the recent recall has come too late. In fall of 2006 Yamaha issued a warning to Rhino owners regarding the tendency of the vehicles to tip when making sharp turns. The following year the company offered to modify the ATVs by adding doors and handholds at no cost, but accidents continued. In November of 2008 the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), prompted by hundreds of lawsuits regarding the Rhino, launched an investigation of the ATV.

Since 2003 some 46 deaths have been associated with the Rhino. Bear in mind, though, that while the Rhino may be more susceptible to rollover accidents than other ATVs, that doesn’t mean other ATVs are safe. In fact, between 1982 and 2007, according to the CPSC, there were 8,995 ATV-related deaths. In 2007 alone there were 542 ATV-related deaths. In addition, nearly 151,000 patients were treated in emergency rooms for ATV-related injuries in 2007.