Posts Tagged ‘Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act’

Proposed Rules Could Severely Restrict UTV Use

March 4, 2010

We have until March 15 to comment on these
CPSC rules that could virtually ban UTVs.

Have you commented yet? If not, you should.

Here are the details.

The CPSC’s proposed mandatory standards spell out how off-road vehicles must be designed, manufactured and used by riders. Meanwhile, at the same time that the CPSC is pushing its rules, the industry has been developing its own voluntary standards.

Paul Vitrano

If you think government mandated standards will benefit our industry, then you don’t have to do anything. If, however, you think perhaps the industry can produce more effective standards, now is the time to step up and make your thoughts known.

A unit of the MIC, the Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association (ROHVA), has created new tools for riders and dealers to easily submit comments. You can do it at http://www.rohva.org/anpr.

The sample letters urge CPSC to work with ROHVA to implement voluntary standards and to promote the safety rules for ROVs, also called SXS or UTV units. The page also contains explanations of ROHVA’s position on ROV standards and links to important documents.

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Second Co-Founder Departs Baja Motorsports

May 16, 2009

Ryan Daugherty Resigns From Leading Chinese Distributor

Handled Sales & Marketing, Product Development, Sourcing

Ryan Daugherty, one of the co-founders of Baja Motorsports, has resigned the company and is looking for other opportunities, he told me. Daugherty, Rich Godfrey and Jennifer Andrew launched Baja in 2004 and built it into a leading distributor of Chinese powersports products—including kid’s ATVs and dirt bikes— in the U.S. and Canada. Last year, Baja sold an estimated $70 million worth of products at wholesale. Its leading customers include Pep Boys, Fleet Farm and Canadian Tire.

Ryan Daugherty

Ryan Daugherty

“It’s just time for a change,” Daugherty told me. “I’ve enjoyed helping build Baja to its current strong position in the market, but I’m going to step back now for a bit and look at the powersports industry. It’s changing and I know there will be other opportunities down the road.”

Daugherty says he doesn’t have any deadline in mind for taking on a new position.

I tried to get in touch with Rich Godfrey a couple of times to see what changes he’s likely to make now that his partner is gone, but I haven’t hear from him yet. I’ll let you know what he has to say when we hook up.

Daugherty, 43, has been vice president for sales and marketing at Baja. His duties include developing new products, sourcing those products in China and marketing the products to dealers and consumers. One of his big efforts has been developing training and service materials for technicians and customers.

He also wrote Baja’s ATV Action Plan recently presented to the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission); Baja is one of only two importers of Chinese products that has had its Action Plan approve by the CPSC. An approved Action Plan is required before a foreign manufacturer can sell ATVs in the U.S. under provisions contained in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008.

With Daugherty’s departure, Godfrey remains the sole co-founder of Baja still with the company. Andrew sold her shares in 2007 and left the company when Techtronics Industries, Inc., (TTI) acquired a majority share of Baja. Daugherty sold his equity position to TTI almost two years ago.

TTI is a $3.2 billion manufacturer who’s stock is traded on the Hong Kong Exchange. It manufactures private label household goods for leading brands, and it also owns several internationally known brands, including Hoover, Dirt Devil, Milwaukee, Homelite and Ryobi. JD

Contact me with news tips and story ideas
at 952/893-6876 or joe@powersportsupdate.com.

Nominees Add Uncertainty at CPSC

May 5, 2009
Joe Delmont

Joe Delmont

President Obama’s recent announcement that he’s going to nominate two new commissioners for the CPSC doesn’t improve the current messy situation at the agency; it only adds to the confusion.

The announcement didn’t make clear whether the president’s nominations REPLACE Nancy Nord and Thomas Moore, both of whom were named by President Bush, or whether they are ADDED to the commission. Since there are spots for five commissioners, they could be added. One more nominee would fill the slate.

By the way, a quorum is actually THREE commissioners, but the quorum requirement was waived last year when the agency’s chairman resigned. Nord was named acting chair at that time. Since there’s no quorum, we’re seeing a lot of 2-0 votes.

I visited the White House website to see the official announcement for myself, but I didn’t get any answers. I’ll try to get more information in the next few days.

Unfortunately, this new confusion factor may give the foot-draggers in Congress one more reason to delay fixing the cluttered Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA).

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a full slate of commissioners at one of our country’s most important consumer safety regulators, a group that would be headed by an active, effective commissioner who is working with an adequate budget and who is directed by appropriate and clearly-worded legislation? Is that too much to hope for? JD

Contact me with news tips and story ideas
at 952/893-6876 or joe@powersportsupdate.com

Latest CPSC Action Simply Is Not The Answer

May 5, 2009

Two-Year Stay of Enforcement Doesn’t Solve Problem

Congress Should Fix Poorly-Written CPSIA Law


joedelmont

Joe Delmont

The CPSC’s recent promise not to enforce for two years a legal ban on the sale of kid’s ATVs, dirt bikes and snowmobiles and related parts, garments and accessories just doesn’t cut it. I’m sorry, but the move is woefully inadequate.

The vote Friday by commissioners Nancy Nord and Thomas Moore is simply the latest step in this silly dance between Congress and the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The awkward two-step is called the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) that was passed last year.

The dreadful legislative effort bans the sale of toys designed for children ages 12 younger that fail to meet several safety standards. The lead limit is 600 parts per million in parts that are accessible to children. The ban became effective Feb. 10, 2009.

Congress says the law gives the CPSC authority to grant exclusions where appropriate— in the case of brake cables, for example. The CPSC responds by calling the law poorly written, and says it is unenforceable.

Retailers and manufacturers from many industries are caught in the middle.

Today, the situation is in a shambles. Some powersports manufacturers are selling products that have been modified or reclassified for youngsters aged (more…)

CPSC Issues Enforcement Stay

May 4, 2009

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said today that its two commissioners had voted May 1, 2009, to hold off enforcing the lead content provision of certain components in kid’s ATV, dirt bikes and snowmobiles for two years. The provisions were part of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) passed last year. The ban on machines for youths 12 and younger became effective Feb. 10, 2009.

This means that the CPSC won’t enforce the ban on the sale of these machines and related parts, garments and accessories, although it’s unclear exactly what impact this action might have for powersports dealers who have not been selling the banned machines or for manufacturers that have stopped producing and selling kid’s machines. The ban still could be enforced by state attorneys general and other local officials.

Many dealers are selling kid’s machines that have been modified to meet the standard or that have been reclassified as being designed for kids aged 12 and older.

Look for more information on this site later today. JD

Contact me with news tips and story ideas
at 952/893-6876 or joe@powersportsupdate.com.

Cobra Sells Kid’s Bikes Despite CPSC Ban

March 27, 2009

Bikes Meet Lead Content Requirements
Several Steps Ensure Legally Safe Products

Sean Hilbert may be the only motorcycle executive in the U.S. who is legally selling kid’s dirt bikes and ATVs, in spite of a federal ban on many such products.

Most of the high quality racing machines produced and sold by Cobra Motorcycle Manufacturing Company of Hillsdale, Mich., meet the current requirements spelled out in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), he told me the other day. Only one of Cobra’s models is not offered for sale.

Sean Hilbert

Sean Hilbert

Well, now, that’s very interesting. How can that be, when the rest of the industry has been shut down since Feb. 10, 2009, and all other manufacturers have ordered their dealers to pull these products from the showrooms?

Sale of products designed for kids ages 12 and younger that contain more than 600 parts per million of lead content for any part of the product in the machine have been banned since February by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Yet Cobra keeps selling most of its models.

Hilbert, who is president and CEO, isn’t breaking the law, he says. It’s just that his company is working very hard to produce machines that meet the stiff lead content requirements set by the law that was signed by President Bush last August. How does he do it?

Basically, three ways. First, by presenting certifications from his suppliers that their products don’t exceed the lead limits. Second, by doing a minimal amount of its own testing. And, third, by covering items that contain excess lead levels, thus preventing access to those items. More about these steps later.

What Is Cobra Motorcycle?

Cobra has been producing high quality small displacement racing ATVs and mini bikes since 1993. It has 35 employees and operates out of a 50,000 sq. ft combination office, warehouse and production facility in Hillsdale, Mich., about 100 miles from Detroit.  The building sits on about 10 acres that includes a test track and provides room for expansion of the main facility.

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Malcolm’s Protest Sale Gets Nationwide Attention

March 19, 2009

Interesting to note that it was USA Today that picked up Malcolm Smith’s protest sale of youth (12 and under) ATVs and dirtbikes. I’ve yet to see much (if any) coverage in the LA Times. Not sure about the Press Enterprise, Smith’s local paper, but I couldn’t find anything via Google.

I don’t know why this wouldn’t get more play in the local press given motorcycling — in all forms — is a huge part of the Southern Californiapicture-11 culture and economy. I know one place  you’ll get just about ALL THE COVERAGE you can stomach in regards to the lead content regulation effect on the powersports industry. That’s over here at Dealernews.com.

Here’s  the first paragraph of the story and a clicky to the full USA Today piece.

LOS ANGELES — Angry with a nationwide ban on sales of youth motorcycles and ATVs over lead concerns, one of the biggest dealers in Southern California plans to sell the child-size vehicles today despite potential criminal penalties.

Dealer Is Mad As Hell About Kid’s ATV Ban

March 16, 2009

*****EDITOR’S NOTE: Malcolm Smith has changed the time of his protest to 4 p.m. rather than 6 a.m. to accommodate those who want to attend. From his website kidslove2ride.wordpress.com “Due to numerous requests from Malcolm’s supporters far and wide, we have changed the timing of the event.”

So He’s Going To Sell Kid’s Machines on March 19

Remember that classic old movie from 1976, Network? If you do, you’ll remember the famous line from Howard Blake’s network anchor character, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore.”

That’s the way Malcolm Smith feels about the current ban prohibiting the sale of kid’s ATVs, motorcycles, and related parts, garments and accessories. That’s why he plans to take some drastic action.

Malcolm is putting his money where his mouth is. Literally. He’s challenging the ban by selling

Malcolm Smith

Malcolm Smith

kid’s machines out of his dazzling powersports dealership in Riverside, Calif., on Thursday. (The sale begins at 6 am PST, March 19, 2009.)

The move could cost him big bucks, a lot more than he’ll get selling a few little dirt bikes. Fines can run as much as $100,000 per violation, up to $15 million, and there are criminal penalties involved, as well. For you non-lawyers, that means, worst case, that Malcolm could end up in jail, if authorities decide to get really nasty.

When I talked with Malcolm today, I asked him what would happen if the authorities come in Thursday and tell him to stop selling. The cagey veteran, avoided a direct answer, but I could almost see him smiling over the phone: “It’ll make a good show,” he said softly.”

He told me that he’s not certain what he’ll do after Thursday. “It depends on what other dealers do,” he says. “I don’t want to be the only one that is completely out of business.”

For those of you who have not been following the ban, here’s the deal: The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), passed last year, put strict limits on the amount of lead contained in products made for youths aged 12 and younger. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) was charged with implementing the law.

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One Small Word Ties Up ATV, Motorcycle Industry

March 12, 2009

CPSC Is Hung Up on Terminology In Child Safety Law
Battle Between Agency and Congress Continues

The Devil is in the details, they say, and that seems to be the case in the latest episode in the lingering battle between the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the rest of the world.

Yesterday (March 11, 2009) the CPSC published a final rule covering lead content in toys designed for children aged 12 and younger that virtually slams the door on industry efforts to avoid the foolish ban on kid’s quads, motorcycles and related parts, accessories and apparel items. The ban on kid’s toys was effective Feb. 10, 2009.

It all hinges on the three-letter word “any” that appears twice in the wide-ranging Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) that became law last August.

The CPSIA was written to protect young children from eating small toys and jewelry that contained excessive amounts of lead, more than 600 parts per million. Good idea, but poor execution. It’s in those little detail thingees.

In its excitement and enthusiasm, Congress got carried away and extended the safety rules to everything from clothing and cribs to ATVs and motorcycles. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) was one of the leading proponents of the bill.

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ATV Ban Could Cost $1 Billion This Year

February 24, 2009

That’s About $3 Million Every Day the Ban Continues

Here’s a nice round number that the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) might want to think about when it considers whether or not to drop the ban on kid’s ATVs and motorcycles: $1 billion.

That’s one estimate of the impact on the powersports industry if the ban were to last throughout 2009. It was put together by the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC), the industry trade group based in Irvine, Calif.

“The potential losses for the powersports industry are massive at a time when this country cannot afford additional economic losses,” says Paul Vitrano, general counsel for MIC and its partner organization the SVIA (Specialty Vehicle Institute of America). “With these vehicles sitting in warehouses instead of on showroom floors, the related sales of most protective gear, accessories, and parts and services are virtually non-existent. Thousands of small businesses across America are impacted by this ban.”

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