PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has decided to hold off on requiring third-party testing and certification of kid-sized all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) for lead content until Nov. 27, 2011, the All-Terrain Vehicle Association (ATVA) reports.

The testing and certification is required under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008, which is commonly called the “lead law.” The CPSC is responsible for implementing the law, including accrediting laboratories to do the testing.

The CPSC earlier approved a stay of enforcement of the testing and certification requirement for kid-sized ATVs, which are designed for children age 12 and under, until Jan. 25. On Jan. 25, the commission extended the stay even further — until Nov. 27 — noting there are no accredited third-party testing facilities yet. The CPSC did say, however, that CPSC staff would conduct some testing.
“In announcing its decision, the CPSC said that it received more than 400 comments asking for a stay of enforcement until Nov. 27,” said Ed Moreland, senior vice president for government relations of the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA), which is the sister organization of the ATVA.

“The CPSC pointed out that AMA and ATVA members were among those who asked for the stay,” Moreland said. “The overwhelming majority of those who commented used AMA-provided tools to do so, and I want to thank everyone who answered our call to contact the CPSC.

“Now is the time for all riders to contact their federal lawmakers and urge them to support H.R. 412, the Kids Just Want to Ride Act, to exempt kid’s machines from the CPSIA,” he said. “The easiest way to do that is through the ‘Rights’ section of the AMA website at AmericanMotorcycist.com.”

The Kids Just Want to Ride Act, was introduced by U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) on Jan. 25. The proposed law would exempt kid-sized off-road motorcycles and ATVs from the lead provisions of the CPSIA. The CPSIA effectively banned the sale of small displacement recreational vehicles due to overly restrictive lead content standards.

Specifically, the CPSIA bans the making, importing, distributing or selling of any product intended for children 12 and under that contains more than a specified amount of lead in any accessible part. When the law was passed in 2008, that amount was 600 parts per million.

The lead-content threshold then dropped to 300 parts per million after Aug. 14, 2010, and is set to drop to 100 parts per million, or the lowest level that is technologically feasible, after Aug. 14, 2011.

Aimed at children’s toys, the CPSIA also ensnared kids’ dirtbikes and ATVs because trace levels of lead can be found in parts such as batteries and brake calipers. Other children’s products are also affected, such as books, clothes and microscopes.

Many dealers are no longer selling kid-sized ATVs, and half of the major ATV manufacturers are no longer selling machines for kids because of uncertainty surrounding the CPSIA.

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