Unsafe ATV Warning

ATV’s are useful tools. Whether you are a farmer, hunter, or trail rider, these vehicles can make your recreation or work more enjoyable. However, these vehicles can sometimes be unsafe. In fact, on March 31, 2009, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a warning that the 450, 660, and 700 models of Yamaha’s Rhino off-road vehicles need certain upgrades in order to ensure that they are safe.[1] The company has agreed to do a free repair program to address the problems with the vehicle. Furthermore, Yamaha agreed to suspend the sale of the models until repairs were made. The repairs are in an effort to reduce the risk of rollover for these vehicles. The repairs include: 1) installation of a spacer on each of the rear wheels and 2) removal of the rear anti-sway bar. Both Yamaha and the CPSC suggest that these vehicles should not be operated until these repairs are made.

The CPSC has investigated 50 incidents involving the Yamaha Rhino, with reports of 46 driver and passenger deaths.[2] Of these incidents, two-thirds have involved rollovers with unbelted drivers and/or passengers.[3] What is even more shocking is the fact that many of these rollovers have occurred on turns at relatively low speeds on level terrain. The Rhino also has been involved many accidents that did not kill, but mangled those who were injured.[4]

Sadly, one such rollover accident involving the Yamaha Rhino killed a 31-year-old man and injured five children under the age of 9.[5] It is always a tragedy when people are killed or injured because of unsafe products. If you own one of these Yamaha Rhinos, by all means, please go get the safety upgrades for it. Also, look at the websites below, one of which contains some video showing how easily this machine turns over.