Yamaha Rhino® All-terrain Vehicles Seriously Injure and Maim Some Drivers and Passengers

Since the Yamaha Rhino was introduced to the market in the United States in September 2003, some drivers and passengers have been seriously injured, and in some cases permanently maimed as a result of rollover accidents. The Rhino, because of its unique design ≠Ė including a narrow wheelbase, high center of gravity, fast acceleration and extremely quick turning radius Ė can be very unstable and roll over on either the driver or passenger side when sharply turned at low speeds. Although the vehicle is equipped with a roll bar and seat belt, it has no lower leg or foot protection. When the Rhino tips or rolls over, the driverís or passengerís leg can come out of the vehicle and be crushed by various portions of the roll bar. These crush injuries have proven to be very difficult to treat, and in some cases have led to the amputation of the injured personís leg. In many cases where the leg has been saved, the nature of the crush injury has required multiple surgeries, bone grafts, and muscle flap procedures. This leaves the victim with a severely and permanently impaired leg for the rest of his or her life. These types of injuries resulting from low speed operation of the vehicle are completely unforeseeable to the owner, driver or passenger. Although many lawsuits have been filed against Yamaha claiming defects and negligent design, Yamaha has not made any changes in the vehicle that would make them more stable or add protection to the drivers' and passengers' legs.

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