MIC Urges CPSC To Recommend Amendments To End Lead-Content-Related Ban On Youth Motorcycles, ATVs

Report to Congress due January 15 Could Lead to Permanent Relief

IRVINE, CA – January 12, 2010 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – The Motorcycle Industry Council today urged Chairman Inez Tenenbaum and the other members of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to recommend in its report to Congress on the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) an amendment that would end the current ban on youth powersports vehicles resulting from the law’s lead content provisions.

As part of the legislation that funded the CPSC in 2010, Congress gave CPSC a deadline of Jan. 15 to submit suggested improvements to CPSIA to the Senate and House Appropriations Committees, the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.

In a Jan. 12 letter, the MIC thanked the CPSC for its efforts to promote youth safety by implementing a temporary stay to make some youth vehicles available despite the ban. MIC also suggested three ways to completely or substantially exclude or exempt youth off-highway motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles from those provisions:

  1. a “functional purpose” amendment
  2. a categorical exemption, such as would be provided by H.R. 1587
  3. a change in the definition of “accessibility” for powersports products

The entire MIC letter can be read at this link: http://www.mic.org/downloads/petitions/Letter%20to%20I.%20Tenenbaum%20-%2001-12-10.pdf

Even though the lead in metal parts of the vehicles do not pose a health hazard to youth riders, the CPSIA, as interpreted by CPSC, does not provide it with the flexibility it needs to grant an exclusion from the lead content limits. As a result, a CPSIA amendment is needed such as a “functional purpose” amendment proposed by Chairman Tenenbaum in response to an earlier Congressional inquiry.

MIC General Counsel Paul Vitrano stated in the letter: “Such an amendment should permit the Commission to grant exclusions for youth ATVs and motorcycles since lead in many accessible components is necessary for their functional purpose, contact with those components is infrequent and the elimination of lead is impracticable or impossible based on available scientific or technical information.”

Other solutions include a categorical exemption, such as would be provided by H.R. 1587, a pending bill with 55 bi-partisan co-sponsors, or a change in the definition of “accessibility” for powersports products.

“Everyone agrees that the key to maintaining the safety of youth riders is for them to operate only appropriately sized vehicles,” Vitrano added. “We are hopeful that CPSC’s report to Congress will pave the way to legislation that will ensure youth motorcycles and ATVs remain available.”

Vitrano said it will again be critical for enthusiasts and industry to mount a massive grassroots effort to advocate for one of these amendments to the CPSIA. For more information visit, www.stopthebannow.com.

The Motorcycle Industry Council exists to preserve, protect and promote motorcycling through government relations, communications and media relations, statistics and research, aftermarket programs, development of data communications standards, and activities surrounding technical and regulatory issues. It is a not-for-profit, national industry association representing manufacturers and distributors of motorcycles, scooters, motorcycle/ATV/ROV parts and accessories, and members of allied trades such as insurance, finance and investment companies, media companies and consultants. The MIC is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., with a government relations office adjacent to Washington, D.C. First called the MIC in 1970, the organization has been in operation since 1914. Visit the MIC at www.mic.org.