One of the projects in which I am involved is the ATV Attorney Alliance, a national network of law firms we organized to pursue ATV accidents–primarily the Yamaha Rhino, an incredibly unstable vehicle which can roll over at low speeds on flat ground. To make matters worse for Rhino owners, many of the Rhinos were sold without adequate protection to keep riders’ arms and legs in the vehicles. We have used an online marketing campaign for about a year in an effort to: (1) educate consumers to the dangers of the Rhino, (2) put pressure on Yamaha to recall the Rhino, and (3) obtain clients who have been injured or lost family members due to Rhino rollover accidents.
We started calling for a Yamaha Rhino recall in blog posts almost a year before the recall came.
1) On May 17, 2008, after the death of an Arizona teenager, we requested a Yamaha Rhino recall.
2) On August 19, 2008, after the death of a Texas boy on a Rhino, we again made a request for a Yamaha Rhino recall.
3) On August 25, 2008, after the death of a 3 year-old Wisconsin boy, we again requested a Yamaha Rhino recall.
4) On November 27, 2008 after the death of 2 Mississippi girls, we took our Rhino recall campaign in a different direction, this time producing a video for YouTube explaining how dangerous Rhinos are and why they roll over so easily.â€¨5) And finally, due to the lack of response by Yamaha to the requests for a Rhino recall, on March 13, 2009, we launched an Internet campaign which included producing and distributing the video satire that appears in my March 26, 2009, blog post below on this site. That video was designed to dramatize Yamahaâ€™s callous failure to issue a Rhino recall.
On March 31, 2009, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) and Yamaha announced that all Yamaha Rhino models are being recalled. Owners were told to immediately stop using the Rhinos. All Rhinos are to be returned to Yamaha dealers to have repairs that are intended to solve the Rhinos’ problems, and no new Rhinos will be sold until the repairs have been made on them. (Forgive me, but I believe I’ll take a wait-and-see attitude before deciding whether the newly repaired Rhinos are safe for their intended use.) I have to admit, after trying to get Rhinos recalled for almost a year, it was gratifying to see these dangerous vehicles recalled. I hope the repairs are adeqate to render the vehicles safe for future riders.
Unfortunately for the hundreds of people who have been permanently injured or killed in Yamaha Rhino rollovers, the Yamaha Rhino recall came too late.
For more information about the recall, check out Yamaha Rhino recall blog I started over the weekend.