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Congress might play a role in ongoing lead law debate

May 15, 2009
Filed under Features

Some Congressional staff members could be reaching out to state attorneys generals in wake of a decision by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to temporarily halt a ban against some youth-designed ATVs and motorcycles, said Paul Vitrano, the general counsel for the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC).

The staff members are trying to get the state attorneys general to say whether they will honor the CPSC stay of enforcement on such vehicles, said Vitrano, who told Powersports Business he has had recent conversations with some Congressional staff members.

State attorneys general will play a key role in whether dealerships will once again sell such vehicles, which have been shelved because of a new law banning youth-designed vehicles that do meet lead requirements. The MIC has said the CPSC’s recent stay of enforcement still leaves the industry vulnerable to potential lawsuits at the state level. Thus, the decision by the different state attorneys general will prove to be key to manufacturers and dealers alike in their quest to once again sell the vehicles and parts for those vehicles.

However, there is no timeline on when or if such decisions will be made by the state attorneys general, Vitrano said, noting members of Congress can only request such decisions be considered.

“This is a huge issue for us obviously,” Vitrano said of the ban on some youth-designed vehicles. “But I don’t know if it’s on the radar screen of many of the state attorneys general unless people in those states are asking questions or bringing it to their attention.”

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