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Recall of Yamaha Motor Corporation Rhino Utility Terrain Vehicle (UTV)March 31, 2009
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in cooperation with Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. is announcing a free repair program to address safety issues with all Rhino 450, 660, and 700 model off-highway recreational vehicles. Yamaha has also agreed to voluntarily suspend sale of these models immediately until repaired. Consumers should immediately stop using these popular recreational vehicles until the repair is installed by a dealer. Across the U.S., there have been increasing reports of accidents involving the rollover-prone Yamaha. The CPSC said its staff has investigated more than 50 incidents involving 46 driver and passenger deaths involving two Rhino models. "More than two-thirds of the cases involved rollovers and many involved unbelted occupants. Of the rollover-related deaths and hundreds of reported injuries, some of which were serious, many appear to involve turns at relatively low speeds and on level terrain," the agency said.
The CPSC says that Yamaha must make the following fixes to the vehicle's safety defects:
- Reducing the propensity for rollover by installing a spacer on the rear wheels and removing the vehicle's rear anti-sway bar, which will also improve vehicle handling.
- To reduce partial or full occupant ejection in rollovers, installation of half doors and additional passenger handholds where these features have not been previously installed under an earlier, inadequate "voluntary" retrofit program. These fixes will help keep occupants' arms and legs inside the vehicle during a rollover, thus reducing injuries.