Yamaha Rhino is a popular utility terrain vehicle (UTV) manufactured by Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA. It is the subject of numerous lawsuits claiming serious injuries and deaths have resulted from accidents, most of them roll overs or "tip overs," involving the vehicle. The Rhino is a relative new comer to the all-terrain vehicle UTV market, having been in production only since 2003. According to Yamaha about 120,000 of the 450 and 660 model Rhinos have been distributed since the fall of 2003.
First product liability against Yamaha as the result of Rhino roll over was filed in 2005. At present it is estimated that an additional 200 cases have been filed throughout the United States. The lawsuits filed against Yamaha generally claim the Rhino contains multiple design and engineering flaws that make fundamentally unstable. The complaints allege the Rhino is prone to tipping or rolling over, even when driven on flat terrain at low speeds, because it is too narrow, has a high center of gravity and very narrow tires. Many lawsuits also claim the doors, seatbelts and roll cage of the Rhino are defective.
On February 2009, all Rhino cases that were pending in Federal courts in the US, which including over 50 cases, were consolidated in multi district litigation in the Western District of Kentucky. Consolidation was sought by various plaintiffs counsel to eliminate the various discovery battles being raged by Yamaha throughout the country and resulting in consistent rulings on discovery.
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