|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 31, 2009
Yamaha Hotline: (800) 962-7926
WASHINGTON, D.C. - 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, 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.
CPSC staff has investigated more than 50 incidents involving these three Rhino models, including 46 driver and passenger deaths involving the Rhino 450 and 660 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.
Yamaha is also voluntarily implementing the same repair program and suspension of sale for the Rhino 700 model, in order to ensure customer satisfaction. Consumers should stop riding the 700 model until it is repaired. About 25,000 Rhino 700s are part of this repair program.
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
Rhino 450 (with doors)
Rhino 450 (without doors)
Rhino 660 (without doors)
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risk of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product-related incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products has contributed to a decline in the rate of injuries associated with consumer products over the past 50 years.
Federal law prohibits any person from selling products subject to a Commission ordered recall or a voluntary recall undertaken in consultation with the CPSC.