Federal Act Restricts Sale Of Child-Sized ATVs

Tuesday, February 17th 2009, 4:42 pm
By: News On 6

By Craig Day, The News On 6

UNDATED -- New lead guidelines are putting the brakes on the ATV industry.  The new restrictions on the sale of ATVs and motorcycles for kids under the age of 12 are supposed to protect them from lead contamination.  But, they're also hitting the ATV industry hard.

Shawnee Leos and her friends like to ride their four wheelers near Keystone Lake.  Even though she's been riding since she was seven, Leos doesn't have a problem with the Consumer Product Safety Commission's ban on the sale of ATVs and motorcycles geared toward children.

"If there is a ban against it, they've got to do what they've got to do," said Shawnee Leos.

While she doesn't have a problem with it, others do.

The new regulations, which went into effect last week, contain strict guidelines for products marketed toward children under 12 and that have lead.  That includes many child-sized ATVs and motorcycles because some of their internal parts contain lead.

"I don't think any kids are chewing on these bikes so, lead content I'm not quite understanding," said ATV salesman Chris Langwell.

Still, many dealers like K and N Motorcycle and ATV Center have had to pull them off the showroom floor.

"You take products that are sitting on the floor that dealers are paying floor plan interest on and they are sitting there with nothing we can do with them," said dealer Sam McDonald.

The new regulations could cost the industry $100 million.

In addition to impacting dealers nationwide, it's also feared that if people aren't able to but the smaller motorcycles and ATVs that are more size appropriate for children, that they'll buy larger ones that are still for sale.  And that could be more dangerous for kids.

Dealers along with the Motorcycle Industry Council are trying to get an exclusion for ATVs and motorcycles.

"They will cure whatever problem it takes and they'll have the product back on the market I'm sure.  At what cost and to who, that's a completely different question," said dealer Sam McDonald.