Possible Lead Poisoning Causes Sales Ban on Some ATV's and Motorcycles

by Victor Lopez
NewsWest 9

ATV's and motorbikes, designed for children 12 and under, are getting pulled out of stores nationwide.   One local retailer says it's flat out ridiculous.

"In the history of the world, no one has died from lead ingestion on a motorcycle,"  Midland Power Sports General Manager Jason Heller, said.

As strange as the reason may be, until further notice, retailers like Jason, cannot sell any of these items. "We've taken them off the market.  We've removed them from the showroom.  As of February 10th, we cannot sell them anymore," Heller explained.

It all has to do with a new piece of legislation dealing with children's product safety and it's hitting motorcycle and ATV retailers verry close to home.

Heller says makers like Suzuki, Honda, and Kawasaki are doing what they can to take care of the situation, "Right now the manufacturers are undergoing tests.  They are testing how much lead the paint actually has,  how much lead the parts inside the engine actually have and they are working on getting an exemption from the government, right now, on it."

The news of a ban on sales isn't sitting well with customers either.  "We have had to tell people that and they look at us like we're crazy," Heller said.

The legislation is broad and covers all things manufactured for kids 12 and under.   Even though the bikes make up a small percentage of his sales, Heller still has his opinion on the ban, "It's ridiculous to think that a kid is going to knaw on the frame of one of these things."

The ban is in effect until further notice.  Fines are steep for anyone selling the affected bikes,  from $100,000 up to $15 million.