When the Yamaha Rhino emerged onto the off-road vehicle market in 2003, it was heralded as the safer alternative to three wheeled all-terrain vehicles, or ATVs. It was a new category of vehicle called “recreational off-highway vehicles” or ROVs. The Rhino was considered safer than ATVs due to its numerous safety features like a roll cage, four wheels, seatbelts, and a steering wheel. However, numerous safety issues with the vehicle soon arose, explains an Orange County ROV injury lawyer.
Authorities received hundreds of reports of accidents, many of them involving serious crush injuries. The Yamaha weighs over 1,100 pounds and, with its narrow stance and unstable nature, this led to many rollovers and severe injuries.
In addition to the 25 injured Yamaha employees testing the prototype, the vice-president of the company had his toes broken in a rollover accident. The company continues to claim that that the Rhino is a safe vehicle and that the injuries have occurred due to risky driving behavior and underage drivers. Yet many rollovers have occurred when the vehicle was riding on a level surface and going between 5-10mph.