In conjunction with a congressional hearing on an anti-lead law that is confounding sales of youth dirtbikes and ATVs, an OEM group under the banner of the Coalition for Safe and Responsible ATV Use issued this statement:
"The Coalition for Safe and Responsible ATV Use urges Congress to immediately address the ban on youth model off-highway vehicles, including ATVs, motorcycles and snowmobiles, caused by the CPSIA's lead content limits.
"The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) tried to temporarily address the ban by issuing a Stay of Enforcement of the CPSIA's new lead content limits in May 2009. Unfortunately, this Stay of Enforcement has proved unworkable. Due to the risks of selling under the Stay, many manufacturers and dealers are no longer selling youth model off-highway vehicles and there is now a limited availability of these products for consumers. Half of the major ATV manufacturers are no longer selling youth model off-highway vehicles despite the Stay.
"The CPSC has acknowledged that the ban on youth model ATVs, motorcycles and snowmobiles creates a compelling safety issue because it likely will result in children under 12 years of age riding larger and faster adult-size vehicles. For example, CPSC studies show almost 90% of youth injuries and fatalities occur on adult size ATVs. The CPSC's staff scientists acknowledge that the presence of lead in metal alloys in these youth models -- needed for functionality, durability and other reasons that are safety critical to the components -- does not present a health hazard to children. The Commission also acknowledges that children riding these vehicles only interact with a limited number of metal component parts that might contain small amounts of lead, like brake and clutch levers, throttle controls, and tire valve stems.
"It is clear that the only way to obtain adequate and permanent relief for riders and the powersports industry from the CPSIA's lead content requirements is for Congress to take action now. The CPSIA must be amended to exempt youth ATVs, motorcycles and snowmobiles. The industry supports categorical exemptions provided by legislation introduced by Rep. Denny Rehberg (H.R.1587) and Senator Jon Tester (S.608)."
The hearing on the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) was held Sept. 10 before the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection. The Coalition for Safe and Responsible ATV Use represents American Honda Motor Co., America Suzuki Motor Corp., Arctic Cat Inc., Bombardier Recreational Products, Inc., Kawasaki Motor Corp., U.S.A., Polaris Industries, Inc. and Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A.
— Submitted by Holly Wagner