Despite risk of rollovers, NRA names 2008 Yamaha Rhino 700 “ATV of the Year”

In the May 2008 issue of American Hunter, an official journal of the National Rifle Association (NRA), editors named the Yamaha Rhino 700 FI Auto 4×4 “ATV of the Year” for their Golden Bullseye Awards. The award comes as hundreds of individuals injured on the side-by-side all-terrain vehicles are pursuing lawsuits alleging the Yamaha Rhino is inherently unstable and prone to rollover.

The NRA’s Golden Bullseye Awards, which are voted on by editors and publication personnel, are presented to the manufacturers of various firearms, accessories and related equipment. In the issue, editors highlight the powerful engine and hauling ability for the side-by-side. However, no mention is made of reports that have surfaced where users have had their Rhino roll over, even when operated at slow speeds on flat surfaces.

2008 Yamaha Rhino 700Product liability lawsuits have been filed against Yamaha Motor Corp., USA, claiming that design defects make the Rhino unstable and that inadequate safety features were provided to protect passengers in the case of a rollover. The Yamaha Rhino ATV was designed to have a high clearance and a narrow wheelbase so it could be placed in the bed of a pickup truck. However, when these features were combined with a powerful engine, the litigation claims that Yamaha created a top heavy vehicle, which has been shown to rollover at speeds as slow as 13 miles per hour.

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The 2008 Yamaha Rhino 700 4×4 does have certain safety features that were not present when earlier models were first sold. In August 2007, Yamaha added small doors to help prevent riders’ legs from falling out of the vehicle during a rollover and additional passenger side handholds were offered to help keep arms inside the vehicle.

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