CPSC advises consumers not to use the off-road vehicles until repaired
WASHINGTON, March 31 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in cooperation with Yamaha Motor Corp. U.S.A., of Cypress, Calif., is announcing a free repair program to address safety issues with all Rhino 450 and 660 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.
CPSC staff has investigated more than 50 incidents involving 46 driver and passenger deaths in these 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.
About 120,000 of the 450 and 660 model Rhinos have been distributed nationwide since Fall 2003. Some units have been equipped by Yamaha with half doors and additional passenger handholds, either before or after sale.
Yamaha's repair includes the installation of a spacer on the rear wheels as well as the removal of the rear anti-sway bar to help reduce the chance of rollover and improve vehicle handling, and continued installation of half doors and additional passenger handholds where these features have not been previously installed to help keep occupants' arms and legs inside the vehicle during a rollover and reduce injuries. Owners of the affected Rhinos should stop using them and call their dealer to schedule an appointment to have repairs made once they are available and to take advantage of a free helmet offer.
Once these repairs have been made to their vehicles, Rhino users should always wear their helmet and seatbelt and follow the safety instructions and warnings in the on-product labels, owner's manuals and other safety materials. The Rhino is only recommended for operators 16 and older with a valid driver's license. All passengers must be tall enough to place both feet on the floorboard with their back against the seat back.
For additional information, contact Yamaha at 800-962-7926 anytime, or visit the firm's Web site at www.yamaha-motor.com.
CPSC Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908
Source: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission