Yamaha’s Rhino side by side ATV has been marketed as a safe, tough, off road vehicle operable in any road condition and has been sold since 2003 when Yamaha started making side by side ATVs and mixing recreational and utility vehicles. The Yamaha Rhino was supposed to be a fast, easy to maneuver, off or on road vehicle that could seat two passengers and hold cargo in the back. What Yamaha created turned out to have propensity for flipping over while driving on reasonable, normal road conditions. Almost as soon as the Yamaha Rhino started to hit showroom floors and dealerships, it started to receive reports of rollover accidents causing severe, catastrophic injuries and fatalities. Instead of issuing an immediate recall, Yamaha continued to sell the Rhino and warned against “aggressive driving” that caused roll over’s accidents. There have been a number of lawsuits against Yamaha for its Rhino. One family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Yamaha for the death of their fifteen year old son as a result of a rollover accident in a Yamaha Rhino. Shortly after the suit was filed, Yamaha announced that it would be installing doors and passenger handholds on all Rhino models already sold for free. A horrific Yamaha Rhino accident in the fall of 2008 took the lives of two eleven year old girls. Earlier, in the summer of 2008, an eight year old boy from Texas was killed on a Yamaha Rhino. Most of the accidents that were reported involved speeds of less than 20 miles per hour on the Yamaha Rhino, on open and flat areas. There were many examples of accidents within the first week of purchase. The severity of the accidents vary from the Yamaha Rhino caused non fatal injuries vary from cuts and bruises to limb amputations and bone infections.
Many people attribute the powerful engine’s high center of gravity, coupled with a narrow wheel base and small tires to the Yamaha Rhino’s roll over problem.
In April 2009 The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) formally advised consumers to not use any of Yamaha’s Rhino 405, 660, or 700 models off road vehicles. At that time, the total numbers of deaths attributed to the Yamaha Rhino models warned against by the CPSC were, forty-six, with hundreds of injuries. Yamaha first recalled the models for repairs, then suspended sales of all the models. The first law firm to take on the Yamaha Rhino with a lawsuit has since has settled more than 17 cases against Yamaha. Numerous law firms around the country have represented victims in Yamaha Rhino lawsuits.