Posts Tagged ‘lead content’

The Many Faces of the Lead Content Fiasco

February 25, 2009

The Motorcycle Industry Council is on a forward push to get word out about the child ATV/Motorcycle ban and its devastating impact on the industry. MIC general counsel Paul Vitrano has appeared in just about all press accounts that I’ve read about the unintended consequences of the new lead content regulations.

Now, the MIC has posted a series of videos on YouTube featuring interviews with folks across the powersports spectrum explaining what all this means to their business. With no further ado here are a couple, starting with Scorpion Sport’s Eric Anderson:

And Randy Hawkins, seven time AMA National Enduro Champion:

And Jeff Fredette, AMA Hall of Famer and ISDE legend:

Congress, CPSC Aren’t Working Together

February 25, 2009

Finger Pointing Isn’t Solving the Problem

It’s been 14 days since kid’s ATVs, motorcycles and related gear were unfairly banned from sale in the U.S., and there doesn’t seem to be a solution in sight. Why not? Isn’t that a reasonable question?

It seems, from my perspective, that we have two Washington heavyweights fighting for control of a piece of turf, while consumers, retailers and manufacturers are inconvenienced, endangered and losing money, to boot.

Look at consumers. We have youngsters who can’t buy an ATV or dirt bike that fits them, a very dangerous situation that pushes them into riding larger, powerful machines designed for adults. At the same time, we have children riding ATVs and dirt bikes that can’t be repaired because parts for these machines can’t be sold.

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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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Missouri Legislator Organizes Email Flood

February 19, 2009

Website Generates 53,000 Emails to CPSC

MIC Delivers 4,400 Letters to Agency

Sen. Klobuchar Questions CPSC’s Lack of Action

Tom Self is the parent of two young motocross riders and he’s unhappy about the new Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) that was signed by President Bush last August. The law bans the sale of ATVs and dirt bikes designed primarily for youths ages 12 and under as of Feb. 10, if the machines contain excessive amounts of lead.

Unfortunately, most youth machines are affected by the law because lead is used in batteries and many alloys such as copper, steel and aluminum contained in valve stems, engine components and vehicle frames.

The law also limits the use of formaldehyde in apparel and phthalates, a chemical used to add flexibility in many plastic products.

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CPSC Approves Sale of Units for Youths, 12-15

February 17, 2009

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said Saturday it has heard the concerns of the motorcycle and ATV industries and riders and is taking action to meet their needs.

The agency is charged with implementing the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) that was signed by President Bush last August. The law limits the amounts of lead in paint and materials contained in products designed primarily for youth age 12 and under.

Effective Feb. 10, 2009, any products for children that did not meet the requirements specified in the law could not be sold. These items include ATVs, dirt bikes, apparel, and related parts and accessories for these items.

Now, the agency has decided that machines designated for youths 12-15, formerly the Y12 category, are not prohibited under the CPSIA and can be sold, an agency representative told Dealernews magazine.

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CPSC Blocks MIC Lead Content Petition

February 17, 2009

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has denied the motorcycle industry’s request for temporary relief from the lead content rule covering children’s toys that became effective Feb. 10, 2009, saying it didn’t have authority to grant that relief.

The petitions filed by the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) and the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America (SVIA) sought temporary exclusions that would have provided an opportunity for powersports companies to clear out inventories that do not meet the new standards.  The CPSC now will consider the MIC/SVIA submissions as it finalizes its rule-making for granting permanent exclusions (more…)

Remember what mom always said: Don’t eat lead or motorcycle parts.

February 16, 2009

The story that has been buzzing all around Indy for this Dealer Expo is the new lead content rules that affect sales of youth ATVs and motorcycles. We’ve covered it extensively over at Dealernews.com and in our Show Dailies. The regulations are the kind of sweeping, all-inclusive legislation that rules out such things as common sense and rational thinking.

Here is one exhibitor’s solution: 

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If you’re reading this and you’re still at Dealer Expo, head over to the Motorcycle Industry Council’s Business Center to voice your concerns. They’re in Booth 4705 in the Indiana Convention Center and sign a pre-printed letter to the CPSC and generate an e-mail to members of congress.

 

“This is a big deal,” said MIC president Tim Buche at the organization’s annual meeting on Friday. He urges people to take charge against the rulings that virtually wipes children’s ATVs, motorcycles and related accessories off the market.

 

You can also go online at www.arra-access.com to generate the letter to congress.

It’s Black Tuesday. Some Kid’s ATVs, Bikes Banned

February 10, 2009

CPSC Staff Considers Issue.

Grassroots Lobbying Effort Begins in Missouri.

Effective today, retailers in the U.S. cannot sell products designed for children under the age of 12 that do not meet the limits for lead content, lead paint and phthalate, a chemical sometimes used to increase the flexibility of plastic parts.

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) applies to used, current and non-current ATVs, motorcycles, and snowmobiles and related products such as collectibles, apparel, parts and accessories.

The penalties for violation are stiff: up to $100,000 per violation and up to $15 million for repeated violations.

The law affects some 13,000 franchised and non-franchised dealers, as well as OEMs, aftermarket manufacturers, distributors, and numbers of other businesses involved with children’s off-road machines, such as racetracks and race promoters. It applies to anyone involved in the so-called “stream of (more…)

Congress Should Fix the CPSIA

February 6, 2009

Wall Street Journal Calls For Changes.

Republicans Seek White House Support.

Congress swept up all children’s products – including youth ATVs and off-highway vehicles – in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act last year, and then shoved the ill-conceived package— most notably because of the lead content provisions, which were intended to address lead in small toys and jewelry— onto the CPSC last fall for implementation.

Perhaps it’s time for the boys and girls on the Hill to amend the law before the prohibition on the sale of kid’s quads goes into effect next Tuesday.

It would be a relatively simple fix, even though there are plenty of other issues for Congress to deal with. It’s just a matter of amending the effective date of implementation— a one-line change.

It actually might happen. Today, four leading Republicans wrote to President Obama requesting his support for “quick legislative action to correct several deficiencies related to effective dates and agency discretion in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA).”

Implementation of the CPSIA Tuesday “has the very real potential to cause job losses and wreak economic havoc on thousands of small businesses if they cannot sell their products,” the Republicans write.

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My Guess: CPSC Will OK Sale of Kid’s ATVs

February 5, 2009

Dropping Kid’s Quads Doesn’t Help Anybody.

Agency Wants To Provide Relief

After closely following the growing industry frenzy over the possibility that we won’t be able to sell kid’s ATVs  after Tuesday, I’ve come to one inescapable conclusion:

The CPSC is not going to prevent the sale of kid’s ATVs next week.

There’s a whole fistful of reasons why the big agency isn’t going to shut down sales of ATVs to kids. And there are enough loopholes and exceptions in this poorly written law for the commissioners to wriggle through, if they wish to do so.

But here’s the bottom line:  It’s more dangerous for kids to ride adult size machines than to ride smaller machines containing lead that could hurt them if they eat the stuff. Like chewing on a battery terminal or a steel frame or a valve stem.

Which is more likely: A kid chomping on a battery cable, or a small child rolling an adult size ATV? Isn’t that a no-brainer?

So, even though the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) can’t change the Feb. 10, 2009, deadline— only Congress can do that— I’m betting that you see the commissioners take action that avoids halting sales next Tuesday. You might see that action as soon as tomorrow.

Last evening, a CPSC spokesman avoided making a flat out statement that sales of kid’s quads would be permitted next week, but he came pretty close. 

“The availability of youth model ATVs is critically important to CPSC,” Scott Wolfson told me. “We are an agency that has investigated numerous deaths of young riders who jumped on adult size ATVs.  We want to protect against these tragedies by having appropriately sized youth models that are available for parents to purchase for their children.”

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