Quad safety woes con­tinue

Honda threat­ens to pull out of mar­ket over safety laws

Gatton Star - - LIFE INTO RURAL - Peter Hunt [email protected]­ral­weekly.com

HONDA has threat­ened to stop sell­ing its quad bikes in Aus­tralia if the next Federal Gov­ern­ment makes op­er­a­tor (rollover) pro­tec­tion de­vices manda­tory.

The Aus­tralian Com­pe­ti­tion and Con­sumer Com­mis­sion made the rec­om­men­da­tion to the Federal Gov­ern­ment last month, af­ter al­most 18 months of de­lib­er­a­tions, in­dus­try con­sul­ta­tion and 119 sub­mis­sions.

But Honda said it would stop sell­ing quad bikes in Aus­tralia if the ACCC’S draft stan­dard be­came law.

Honda Mo­tor­cy­cle & Power Equip­ment man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Robert Toscano said the firm “won’t fit de­vices to our ATVS (quad bikes) that real world stud­ies have shown do not im­prove safety”.

Honda said it told the ACCC many times the Ja­panese au­to­mo­tive gi­ant would not change the de­sign of an ATV where the safety ben­e­fits of the change are un­known: “Honda won’t risk cus­tomers’ lives. Of sig­nif­i­cant con­cern to Honda is the re­quire­ment to fit an af­ter­mar­ket OPD, or sim­i­lar in-house de­sign,” Mr Toscano said.

Last month As­sis­tant Trea­surer Stu­art Robert ducked adopt­ing the ACCC’S rec­om­men­da­tions in the lead-up to the Federal Elec­tion, by an­nounc­ing yet an­other round of pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion that would not be com­pleted un­til at least June 10.

The ACCC also called for the:

■ Adop­tion of US and Euro­pean stan­dards on quad bike lon­gi­tu­di­nal and lateral sta­bil­ity

■ Rollover warn­ing hang tags to be placed on all quad bikes, stat­ing at what an­gle the quad could tilt on to two wheels

The ACCC wants Op­er­a­tor Pro­tec­tion De­vices – quad­bars and ATV life­guards – fit­ted to all gen­eral-use quad bikes, with man­u­fac­tur­ers given the op­tion of pro­duc­ing their own to a sim­i­lar stan­dard within.

Ten peo­ple died on ATVS

❝won’t Honda

risk cus­tomers’ lives. Of sig­nif­i­cant con­cern to Honda is the re­quire­ment to fit an af­ter mar­ket OPD.

— Robert Toscano

in Aus­tralia last year.

PHOTO: FILE

SAFETY: Honda said it won’t fit rollover de­vices to its quad bikes, stat­ing stud­ies have shown they do not im­prove safety.

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