Foreign ATVs Must Meet U.S. Standards

Publish Date: 
Aug 19, 2008

THE COALITION for Safe and Responsible ATV Use — comprising BRP, Honda, Kawasaki, Polaris, Suzuki and Yamaha — says it applauds Congress for requiring all companies that import or sell ATVs in the U.S. to comply with the same vehicle safety standards and to implement the same training and other safety initiatives that established ATV manufacturers have followed for years.

The ATV provision creates a mandatory safety standard for ATVs. The provision was part of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (H.R. 4040), which the House of Representatives passed July 30, was approved by the senate and signed by President George Bush Aug. 14. The standard takes effect 150 days after it is published in the Federal Register, which should take place in the next 90 days.

The ATV provision codifies the current voluntary standards and Action Plans. In effect, the bill creates immediate mandatory standards for all ATVs sold in the U.S., both imported and domestic.

Working with the CPSC and through the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America (SVIA), established ATV manufacturers developed a voluntary standard for ATVs, under the auspices of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and agreed to implement and follow "ATV Safety Action Plans" that were accepted by CPSC. The ANSI/SVIA standards and Action Plans address important safety issues, including appropriate configuration and performance aspects of ATVs, speed restrictions on youth ATVs, free hands-on training programs, and promotion of helmets and other proper gear. The established manufacturers also provide cash or product incentives for new ATV purchasers who complete the training course.

In recent years, nontraditional ATV companies, mostly from China, have entered the market in growing numbers. Many of these companies do not comply with the ANSI/SVIA standards and have refused to implement comprehensive safety Action Plans with the CPSC. Sales of these non-compliant ATVs are estimated to account for about one-third of the new sales market in the U.S. Moreover, these companies are marketing many of these products directly to those most vulnerable to safety risks, those aged 16 and younger.

"These standards and programs are vital to ensure the safety of American ATV riders," says Coalition spokesperson Ed Krenik. "Many nontraditional ATVs do not adhere to even minimal safety requirements, nor do the companies provide training or safety information. The poor quality of many of these ATVs create a danger for all ATV riders, particularly young riders, who are being targeted by these companies.

"The big winners in this legislation are American consumers, who can be assured that any new ATV they buy in the U.S. will adhere to the safety standards and training programs developed over the past 20 years," Krenik says.