From the Editors

The craziest powersports ‘prohibition’

Neil PascaleHere’s a crazy thing to think about: Currently, there is no difference between the retailing of illegal drugs and youth-designed ATVs and motorcycles. They’re both illegal to sell. Of course, the enforcement of one is obviously much different that the other. But still, thanks to the lead law enacted last year, this is likely one the wackiest times ever for retailing youth-designed powersports vehicles.

I mean do you sell them and open yourself up to potential legal liability? The federal government has recently extended a stay of enforcement on the lead content provisions of the controversial Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), but that has no bearing on what could happen at a state level or from a private party for that matter.

The CPSIA limited the amount of lead allowed in products meant for children 12 years old and younger. While originally aimed at toys originating in China, the law wound up also affecting youth-designed powersports vehicles because certain parts, including batteries and valve stems, may contain lead.

So as a result, the game of gamble concerning the retailing of youth-designed ATVs and motorcycles goes on in a variety of ways. Some OEMs and dealers have chosen simply to stop selling such vehicles while others have either remarketed them or labeled them with stickers that say, “designed for children 12 and older.”

In all this craziness, there is some potentially good news coming to light that we’re discussing in the upcoming Powersports Business. But until then, what do you do? Don’t sell them and negatively affect your business and kids’ access to right-sized vehicles, or sell the units and settle for a permanent case of heartburn?

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One Comment

  1. Sell em….most everybody in our area are selling youth products…the heart of the matter is lead poisoning….It would be very hard to prove a child got lead poisoning from a motorcycle….the problem we had was when we pulled all of our accessories…incl. helmets off the shelf…a racer of ours needed a new helmet (which does save lives) and we were NOT supposed to sell it to him? We sold it…I could not deal with it if the kid were injured because he could not purchase the proper safety gear…one problem is with the manufacturers trying to get the dealers to buy the stuff when they knew for a year that the products would have to be pulled. Polaris (at first sent us a letter about 20 days before the ban went into effect) saying tough titty….your stuck with it and we wont take it back..they have since helped with flooring..just shows you how the manufactures treat the dealers….they dont care, they just want it out of their inventory…

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