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Yamaha Recalls "Rhino" Off-Road Vehicles After 46 Rollover Deaths

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By David Goguen on March 31, 2009 12:29 PM

Yamaha Motor Corp. announced today that it is recalling its Rhino 450 and 660 off-road vehicles for free repairs, after the company received reports of 46 rollover deaths involving the popular two-seater vehicles.

The Yamaha Rhino recall was announced today by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). About 120,000 of the two Rhino models have been sold nationwide since going on sale in the fall of 2003. There have been 46 reports of driver and passenger deaths involving the Yahama Rhino 450 and 660 models, with the majority of accidents involving rollovers and unbelted occupants, and most occurring at low speeds and on level terrain, CPSC reports

The free repair offered by Yamaha will include a number of fixes to try to improve the vehicle's handling and reduce the chance of a rollover: 1) installation of a spacer on the vehicle's rear wheels, 2) removal of the rear anti-sway bar,  and 3) installation of half doors and passenger handholds (if not previously installed) to help keep riders' arms and legs inside the vehicle, according to the CPSC.

Owners of the recalled Yamaha Rhino vehicles should stop riding them immmediately and contact Yamaha to arrange for the free repair at 800-962-7926, or online at www.yamaha-motor.com.