Saturday, December 29, 2007

Yamaha Rhino's still being challenged on safety concerns

I don't really care to link to any of them, but I'm seeing even more web sites and advertising for law firms building class action lawsuits against Yamaha regarding rollover accidents involving the Rhino side-by-side. Although this issue was first raised several years ago, there is obviously a long road ahead for Yamaha and the industry. These articles are mostly being done for PR and search engine visibility, lawyers willing to spend big bucks to jump on this "opportunity". Sad really.

I see this as mostly a perception issue, albeit a serious one, creating even more hurdles for the sport. The main alleged defect relates to the high center of gravity of the Rhino with a shortened wheel base and powerful engine, leading to higher incident rate of rollovers. Excuse me? Those seem like design features, not defects. High ground clearance and the power to get where you want. Or put another way, it's like saying all cars should be recalled for the design defect of going faster than 75mph, resulting in serious injuries and death in far greater numbers than ATVs. Any design involves trade offs, and individuals are responsible to use them accordingly. Instead of just expecting the growth in ATVs to continue, we all need to do what we can to address these challenges.