Prosecution Possible for CPSIA Violators

May 22, 2009
Courtesy of AMA
American Motorcyclist Association

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has voted to stay enforcement of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) that currently bans the sale of youth-model motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). The stay, which extends through May 1, 2011, follows a unanimous vote by Acting Chairman Nancy Nord and Commissioner Thomas Moore.

While the AMA applauds the Commissioners’ vote to stay enforcement, it is unclear whether state attorneys general will also decline to enforce the CPSIA. Because the law is still in place, the sale of youth-model motorcycles and ATVs is still technically illegal.

In Acting Chairman Nord’s testimony at a hearing to a Subcommittee of the U.S. House Committee on Small Business on May 14, the Acting Chairman stated, “I would like to call your attention to Section 218 of the CPSIA that gives state attorneys general the authority to enforce certain federal product safety laws, including those regarding the limits on lead and phthalates. This state authority to enforce CPSC’s statutes compromises the ability of our agency’s Office of Compliance to engage in reasonable enforcement discretion. For example, the CPSC is powerless to require state attorneys general to join in the agency’s stay of enforcement of certain testing and certification requirements.”

In other words, even though a stay means that dealers would not be subject to fines or penalties imposed by the CPSC, state attorneys general would still be able to prosecute violators if they chose to do so.

Motorcyclists and ATV riders need to let their state attorneys general know that we are concerned about the law, and that we want their office to work with the CPSC and to follow their lead in staying enforcement of the lead content limits of the CPSIA.

Additionally, the AMA continues to advocate for a permanent legislative fix to remove youth-model motorcycles and ATVs from the CPSIA. For more ways you can help to exclude youth-model motorcycles and ATVs from the CPSIA or for more information about the issue, click here.

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