The following information was found on the AMA’s website – there is a link at the bottom to take you to the complete history of the Consumers Product Safety Improvement Act “Lead Law”
The CPSIA took effect in February 2009 and it immediately stopped the sale of dirt bikes and ATVs designed for children 12 and under. The law was meant to protect children from dangerous levels of lead in toys, but it was written so broadly that it also impacted childrens’ books, clothes, motorcycles and ATVs.
Under the CPSIA, all youth products containing lead must have less than 600 parts per million by weight. The CPSC has interpreted the law to apply to various components of kid-sized motorcycles and ATVs, including the engine, brakes, suspension, battery and other mechanical parts. Even though the lead levels in these parts are small, they are still above the minimum threshold.
To ensure continued availability and access to kid-sized motorcycles and ATVs, the Motorcycle Industry Council, Specialty Vehicle Industry Association, the AMA, ATVA and others asked the CPSC to consider petitions submitted to exclude kid-sized motorcycles and ATVs from the final rule governing the law.
The CPSC staff admits that the risk of exposure to lead from kid-sized motorcycles and ATVs is relatively low. But the staff told the commissioners that the law is written so strictly that no lead absorption into the body is allowed. As a result, they say, motorcycles and ATVs shouldn’t be exempt from the law.
In April, the two-member CPSC rejected an industry request to exempt kid-sized off-road motorcycles and ATVs from the CPSIA because the agency did not believe that it had the authority to exclude these vehicles from the lead-content limits imposed by Congress. However, the commissioners signaled their desire to issue a stay to give Congress the opportunity to change the law so that kid-sized motorcycles and ATVs can be legally sold. The commissioners also expressed hope that manufacturers will use the delay to make changes to their products to make them meet the requirements of the new law.
“…ATVs and motorized bikes appropriately sized for children 12 and younger can again be available and the commission will not seek penalties for violation of Section 101 and related provisions of the (law) against those who sell them,” said Acting CPSC Chairman Nancy Nord on April 3. “I hope that the state attorneys general will follow the lead of the agency on this matter.
“All stakeholders — industry, users, Congress and the commission — need to come together to fix the statutory problems that have become so apparent, in a common sense approach that does not unnecessarily burden those regulated, yet provides safety for American families,” she said
You can read up on the history of this law – here the AMA has everything in an easy to follow format.