The trial lawyers at Keefe Bartels are experienced in handling cases involving defective, dangerous and recalled products. The firm has a national network of attorneys experienced in representing people injured because of defects in various types of motor vehicles including automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, and all terrain vehicles (ATVs). On March 31, 2009, the Yamaha Motor Corp. (Yamaha) announced a “voluntary repair program,” which others might rightly consider a recall of the Rhino 700, Rhino 660 and Rhino 450 Side x Side (SxS) models. This repair program or recall has been offered in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to address safety issues with these very popular recreational ATV vehicles from the Yamaha motor corporation, which is based in Japan. Dangerous, defective products can cause serious personal injury and accidents and cause loss of a job, income, medical bills and pain and suffering. If you have been the victim of a dangerous or defective ATV / all terrain vehicle, or other motor vehicle, then you should consult with an attorney or lawyer to discuss your rights and to protect your interests.
The CPSC had conducted investigations of over 50 accidents involving these three Rhino ATV models, which included 46 driver and passenger deaths involving the Rhino 450 and/or 660. The CPSC indicated that over two-thirds of these accidents involved rollovers. The rollovers in these fatal accidents and hundreds of reported incidents appeared to involve turns at “relatively low speeds and on level terrain.” The CPSC estimates that about 120,000 Rhino 450 and Rhino 660 ATV vehicles have been distributed nationwide since the fall of 2003. It appears a recall is in order. The original news release by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission on these dangerous Rhino vehicles can be viewed at http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09172.html.
Yamaha’s voluntary program of these dangerous ATV vehicles provides the following two repairs, which the CPSC states are necessary “to help reduce the chance of rollover and improve vehicle handling:”
- Installation of a spacer on each of the rear wheels.
- Removal of the rear anti-sway bar.
The parts and repairs will be freely provided by local Yamaha ATV dealers. Yamaha also reminds Rhino all terrain vehicle owners that they can have doors and additional passenger holds (an earlier measure taken to improve safety and prevent rollovers) installed on their Rhino ATVs free of charge.
Yamaha’s announcement clearly states that individuals “should not operate” or should “suspend use of the Rhino” until the Rhino ATV is modified with these repair parts. Despite the strict safety warning in its press release, Yamaha then stated that its Rhino SxS vehicles are safe and reliable off-road ATV vehicles. Apparently the Rhino is the best-selling SxS vehicle in the market and Yamaha believes it is the best in its class and has a history of not being a dangerous product. Regardless of the popularity of the Rhino ATV, the numbers of reported Rhino accidents and the CPSC investigation have discovered a potential danger and defect with these vehicles which both authorities and the company are now informing consumers about.
The reported accidents involving the Rhino ATVs have demonstrated that the use of such vehicles has a potential association with serious or fatal injuries. When any product is found to be defective or dangerous to the consumer using it, there may be a potential legal claim based on product liability law against the manufacturer and other parties. Therefore it is very important to find experienced and qualified legal representation to advance the potential rights and interests of those persons harmed in Rhino ATV accidents and motor vehicle crashes.
Products liability law concerns the duty of manufacturers and sellers to make and sell products that are reasonably safe to consumers. Manufacturers owe this duty to direct users of the product, to reasonably foreseeable users of the product, and to those who may reasonably be expected to come into contact with the product. A successful products liability claim against a manufacturer proves that the product causing harm was not reasonably safe for its intended purposes. A product is not reasonably safe for its intended purpose if it fits into one or more of these types: a manufacturing defect, failure to adequately warn or instruct, or, a design defect. Therefore, if the Rhino ATV is defective, which makes it unreasonably safe for its intended use, and a party is injured or harmed, there may be a basis to file a products liability claim.
The personal injury lawyers at Keefe Bartels are available to discuss your accident and help you find the right legal representation in your potential case involving the Yamaha Rhino ATVs. If you or someone you know has been injured while operating the Rhino 450, 660 or 700 ATV, you may have a legal claim or lawsuit related to these potentially defective or potentially unsafe all terrain vehicles. Contact the trial attorneys at Keefe Bartels, LLC to see if they can help you.