WASHINGTON, Aug. 5 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Summer is here and that means off-road riding is in high season in many communities. As side-by-side recreational off-highway vehicles (ROVs) continue to gain in popularity, so does the number of reports to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission of injuries and deaths involving these vehicles. Even though ROVs have a roll cage and seat belts, CPSC urges all riders and passengers to remain vigilant about safety before hitting the trails and while off-roading.
CPSC’s safety message is especially targeted at Yamaha Rhino drivers and passengers. In March 2009, a free vehicle repair and helmet giveaway (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09172.html) was offered to all owners of Rhino model 450, 660 and 700 ROVs, in order to enhance stability and reduce the potential for rollover, as well as improve occupant protection. About 145,000 vehicles were affected, and we urge every owner to act now to bring their Rhino into a Yamaha dealership for the free upgrades.
CPSC believes that in order to provide a safer ride, all Rhinos must have half-doors, additional passenger handholds, spacers on the rear wheels, and the rear anti-sway bar removed. Consumers should immediately stop using Rhino ROVs until the repairs are installed by a dealer. While these repairs will improve the safety of these vehicles, the repairs alone are not enough. Owners of vehicles should be sure that riders and passengers:
– wear their seat belt properly every time,
– strap on their helmet every time,
– follow on-product warnings,
– never remove the half-doors,
– never allow a child younger than 16 to drive,
– never allow a child to be a passenger if he/she is unable to place both feet on the floorboard with his/her back against the seat, and
– only operate off-road-the Rhino is not designed for use on public roads or paved surfaces.
Improving the safety system of the vehicle, combined with occupant attention to safe riding practices, will lead to reduced deaths and injuries.
As of June 23, 2009, CPSC staff has received reports of nearly 60 fatalities involving the 450, 660 and 700 models of the Yamaha Rhino. A number of very serious injuries have also been reported, including injuries to the head and neck, and incidents requiring surgical amputation of victims’ arms, legs, and fingers. Many of these cases appear to have involved rollovers at relatively low speeds and on level terrain.
For additional information on the free Rhino repair program, contact Yamaha at 800-962-7926 anytime, or visit the firm’s Web site at www.yamaha-motor.com. To report consumer product related incidents contact CPSC’s Hotline at 1-800-628-2772 or visit CPSC’s Web site at www.cpsc.gov
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. The CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products — such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals — contributed significantly to the decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call CPSC’s Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or CPSC’s teletypewriter at (800) 638-8270. To join a CPSC e-mail subscription list, please go to https://www.cpsc.gov/cpsclist.aspx. Consumers can obtain recall and general safety information by logging on to CPSC’s Web site at www.cpsc.gov.
Yamaha Hotline: (800) 962-7926
CPSC Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: Scott Wolfson or Sonia Hayes-Pleasant, (301) 504-7908 or (301) 504-7881
SOURCE U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission