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| Childers, Schlueter & Smith

For many people, especially in the summer months, adventures outdoors are what the season is all about. For more than a few of these lovers of summer, outdoor adventures include rides on all-terrain vehicles or other vehicles of that type. Yamaha is a popular manufacturer of these types of vehicles and in 2003, Yamaha sought to introduce a vehicle which was different-the Yamaha Rhino 660. Yamaha created a vehicle which incorporated features of a go-cart, a golf cart and a traditional all-terrain vehicle. The new rhino vehicle was not marketed as ATV and therefore was not regulated by the same established laws and safety regulations because was instead labeled as a ‘utility terrain vehicle.’

The Rhino was extremely popular even from the very beginning with its sporty look and its ability to be loaded into the back of most pick up trucks without the need for a separate trailer. However, that popularity soon began to wane as the reports of injuries began to emerge.

Due to its dangerous design, the Rhino is not the safe and reliable an off-road vehicle seen on numerous commercials and print ad campaigns. CBS News recently reported on the dangers of the vehicle and some of the law suits which have arisen due to injuries or deaths sustained while operating or riding in the Yamaha Rhino 660.

Today the Yamaha Rhino 660’s design defects has been linked to 59 deaths and hundreds of other injuries to riders and consumers. This staggering number of injuries and deaths has caused over 440 Yamaha Rhino lawsuits to be filed alleging the defective and dangerous nature of the Rhino 660. What is perhaps more disturbing to many is that the company seemed to be aware of the issues with the Rhino’s stability and design and failed to adequately act to correct these issues in a timely manner.

Yamaha itself has attempted to partially remedy the situation and has engaged in massive damage control by offering a free repair service on the models in question which include the Yamaha Rhino 450, 660 and 700. This came about as the result of continued pressure and attention Yamaha received from defective design and safety plagued Rhino linked to early reports of serious accidents injuries, and deaths. Some of the defects of the Rhino include the fact that it was inherently unstable due to the top heavy nature of the Rhino due to a narrowed chassis and other reports have indicated that the seatbelts actually unspool in the event of a rollover. For those who have been hurt critical questions remain: Why did Yamaha not choose to make the recall and repairs sooner? Why did Yamaha not feel it was important to inform consumers of the dangerousness of the Yamaha Rhino 660 and why did Yamaha continue manufacture and sell the Rhino despite knowing of its design defects and safety flaws as CBS reports.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a Yamaha Rhino accident involving a Yamaha Rhino 660, you may be asking yourself the same questions. There are currently a number of Yamaha Rhino law suits which have been filed in the state of Georgia and other areas to get answers to these questions and to further protect the rights of consumers. The law firm of Childers and Schlueter, LLP is currently handling many of the Yamaha Rhino injury cases which have been filed in Georgia and is still reviewing cases nationwide on an individual basis for those who have been seriously injured in a Yamaha Rhino accident. If you have questions, please contact us immediately about these Rhino accidents.

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