1998年九月九日出版的[美国联邦记事报]通知(FR Notices) (63 FR48199-28204)

[Federal Register: September 9, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 174)]
[Notices]
[Page 48199-48204]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr09se98-46]

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CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION


All-Terrain Vehicles; Comment Request--Proposed Resolution

AGENCY: Consumer Product Safety Commission.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The Consumer Product Safety Commission requests comments on a
proposed Commission Resolution (``Resolution'') that responds to action
plans that certain members of the all-terrain vehicle (``ATV'')
industry will undertake. The proposed Resolution is attached at the end
of this notice. (Unless otherwise noted, the action plans are referred
to collectively as the ``ATV Action Plan.'') (ATVs are three-and four-
wheeled motorized vehicles, generally characterized by large, low-
pressure tires, a seat designed to be straddled by the operator, and
handlebars for steering, which are intended for off-road use by an
individual rider on various types of non-paved terrain.) The Commission
staff has provided extensive input into the development of the ATV
Action Plan, which the Commission believes will enhance consumer safety
with respect to these products. The Resolution commends certain members
of the industry for the ATV Action Plan, and announces that the
Commission will actively monitor sales, promotion and training
activities of the ATV industry insofar as those activities pertain to
safety, assemble data on deaths and injuries associated with ATVs, and
take appropriate action, where necessary, based on the results of such
monitoring activity and data.\1\

     Chairman Ann Brown and Commissioner Thomas H. Moore approved
this notice as here published; Commissioner Mary Sheila Gall
approved publication of the notice with specified changes that were
not adopted. The ballot vote sheets of the individual Commissioners
are available to the public through the Office of the Secretary.
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DATES: Persons wishing to comment on the Resolution should send written
comments to the Office of the Secretary not later than October 26,
1998.

ADDRESSES: Written comments should be captioned ``ATV Action Plan'' and
mailed to the Office of the Secretary, Consumer Product Safety
Commission, Washington, DC 20207, or delivered to that office, room
502, 4330 East-West Highway, Bethesda, Maryland. Written comments may
also be sent to the Office of the Secretary by facsimile at (301) 504-
0127 or by e-mail at cpsc-os@cpsc.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information about the Resolution,
call or write Leonard H. Goldstein, Office of the General Counsel,
Consumer Product Safety Commission, Washington, DC 20207; (301) 504-
0980, Ext. 2202.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The Commission's work on ATVs began in the mid-1980s after it
learned of a rapidly growing number of deaths and injuries--
particularly to children under 16 years old--involving these products.
ATV sales had increased dramatically during that time, including more
than a tripling of sales between 1980 and 1985. Most of the ATVs
produced during that period were three-wheeled vehicles.
    The Commission issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
(``ANPR'') in May 1985 (50 FR 23139). In December 1987, the Department
of Justice, at the Commission's request, filed a lawsuit in federal
district court under section 12 of the Consumer Product Safety Act
against the five major manufacturers and/or distributors of ATVs.
United States v. American Honda Motor Co., et al., Civ. No. 87-3525
(D.D.C., filed Dec. 30, 1987). The companies named in the lawsuit were
American Honda Motor Co., Inc. (``Honda''), Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A.
(``Yamaha''), Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. (``Kawasaki''), U.S. Suzuki
Motor Corp. (nka American Suzuki Motor Corp.) (``Suzuki''), and Polaris
Industries L.P. (nka Polaris Industries Inc.) (``Polaris''). The
lawsuit sought a declaration by the court that then existing ATVs
constituted an ``imminent hazard'' and requested certain remedial
relief. The matter was settled with the court's approval of Final
Consent Decrees on April 28, 1988 (``Final Consent Decrees''), and the
ANPR was subsequently withdrawn (56 FR 47166). Among other things, the
Final Consent Decrees required the companies to:
     Stop the sale of all new three-wheeled ATVs and repurchase
them from dealer inventory;
     Promote and sell adult-size ATVs (i.e., ATVs with engine
sizes greater than 90 cc) only for the use of riders age 16 and over;
     Promote and sell youth-size ATVs (i.e., ATVs with engine
sizes between 70 cc and 90 cc) only for the use of riders age 12 and
older;
     Provide free training to all ATV purchasers and members of
their immediate families;
     Conduct a nationwide ATV safety public awareness media
campaign;
     Adhere to guidelines for advertising and promotional
materials;
     Include specified warnings on ATV labeling and in ATV
owner's manuals; and
     Accelerate negotiations on a voluntary standard for ATVs.
(The voluntary standard for ATVs (``Voluntary Standard''), as approved
by the Commission, was published in the Federal Register on January 13,
1989. (54 FR 1407) Among other things, the Voluntary Standard includes
configuration requirements for service and parking brakes, mechanical
suspension, foot environment, lighting equipment, tire labeling, and
various operational controls; there are pitch stability requirements
and performance requirements for service and parking brakes; and there
are requirements that relate specifically to youth size ATVs, including
requirements for limitations on maximum speed capabilities.)
    The CPSC staff subsequently negotiated a series of monitoring
agreements with the companies to enforce compliance by their dealers
with the requirement that adult-size ATVs not be marketed or sold to or
for the use of children.
    Arctic Cat Inc. (``Arctic Cat''), which started manufacturing ATVs
in 1996, voluntarily entered into an Agreement and Action Plan with the
Commission in September 1996 (``Arctic Cat Agreement''), whereby the
firm agreed to take many of the same actions that were required of the
companies under the Final Consent Decrees. Arctic Cat

[[Page 48200]]

also agreed to undertake a dealer monitoring program that was similar
to dealer monitoring programs of the other companies.
    With the Final Consent Decrees and Arctic Cat Agreement nearing
their end, Chairman Ann Brown hosted a ``Forum on All-Terrain
Vehicles'' (``Forum'') in May 1997. The purpose of the Forum was to
discuss what measures, if any, could reasonably be taken after the
Consent Decrees and Arctic Cat Agreement expired to further reduce
deaths and injuries associated with these products. Invitations were
extended to, and views were obtained from, members of the public,
technical experts in the ATV field, members of the private bar, and
representatives of consumer groups, rider groups, and State agencies.
    The staff engaged in a number of other information gathering
activities concerning ATVs during 1997, including the following:
     The staff met with engineers for each company that was a
party to one of the Consent Decrees to discuss evolutionary changes
with regard to ATVs since 1988 as well as current technology;
     The staff reviewed, subject to confidentiality agreements,
pertinent documents from each of the companies, including consumer
complaints, documents containing technical information, and information
relating to product liability cases;
     The staff met individually with several engineers with
experience in testifying on behalf of plaintiffs in ATV cases to
solicit their views concerning these products; and
     The staff communicated with certain foreign government
agencies concerning any technical and/or legal requirements in those
countries concerning ATVs.
    The Final Consent Decrees and the Arctic Cat Agreement expired on
April 28, 1998. After extensive discussions with Commission staff, each
of the companies that was subject to a Final Consent Decree and Arctic
Cat (collectively, the ``companies'') have agreed to undertake
voluntary actions to continue to promote the safe and responsible use
of ATVs. The Commission believes that these actions will enhance ATV
rider safety.

Summary of Findings of Recent Exposure and Injury Surveys and Risk
Analysis; and Analysis of ATV Death Reports

    As part of its review of the ATV matter and in anticipation of the
expiration of the Final Consent Decrees and Arctic Cat Agreement, the
Commission staff recently completed exposure and injury surveys and a
risk analysis with regard to these products. The surveys provide a
description of current hazard and usage patterns. The staff has
compared the results of these surveys to the results of the
Commission's 1985 and 1989 ATV exposure and injury surveys, to evaluate
trends in use and hazard patterns. Finally, as in the 1985 and 1989 ATV
studies, the characteristics and use patterns of drivers who are
involved in injury incidents (as inferred from the injury survey) have
been compared against those who are not (as inferred from the exposure
survey) to determine the factors associated with risk. The staff's
review also included a study of ATV deaths between January 1, 1985 and
December 31, 1996. The staff has described the characteristics of
drivers and ATVs that have been involved in fatal injuries, and
fatality trends since 1985. The staff's full report, titled ``All-
Terrain Vehicle Exposure, Injury, Death, and Risk Studies,'' was made
public on April 24, 1998, and may be obtained from the Office of the
Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Washington, DC 20207.
Below is a brief summary of the findings in that report:

A. Exposure Survey

     14% of ATV drivers are children under the age of 16 years
(compared with about 23% in 1989);
     Almost two-thirds of drivers are male;
     The mean level of driver experience is 9.6 years (about
4.5% of drivers had less than one year of experience);
     11% of drivers reported participating in an organized
training program; another 12% said they had received some training by
ATV dealers or sales people;
     23% of drivers reported never carrying passengers;
     35% of drivers reported always wearing a helmet; 32%
reported never wearing a helmet;
     74% of drivers reported some nonrecreational use,
including farming or ranching, household chores, and occupational or
commercial tasks;
     About 22% of the ATVs are the three-wheel models (this
compares with about 54% in 1989);
     26% of the four-wheel models are four-wheel drive
vehicles, most with engines greater than 300 cc;
     36% of the ATVs were reported to have engines with 300 cc
or more (compared with about 10% in 1989); and
     51% of the ATVs had been purchased as used vehicles; of
this number, about 80% had been purchased from the previous owner,
rather than from an ATV dealer.

B. Injury Survey

     47% of the injuries occurring during the study period
involved children under the age of 16; this was almost identical to the
percentage in 1985 (46%);
     Despite the large proportion of children injured, the
number of injuries involving children under age 16 declined
approximately 50% from about 42,700 in 1985 to about 21,300 in 1997;
     95% of injured children were driving ATVs larger than
recommended for their age;
     An estimated 54,500 ATV-related injuries were treated in
hospital emergency departments during 1997 (this was a decline of
approximately 49% from the estimated 106,000 such injuries during
1986);
     The rate of ATV-related injury declined from 5.4 per
hundred ATVs in use in 1985 to 2.5 in 1989 and to about 1.5 per hundred
ATVs in 1997, an overall rate reduction of about 72%;
     25% of the injuries were to passengers;
     75% of the injuries occurred to males;
     22% of the injuries involved the head; most of the head
injuries were concussions or internal organ (i.e., brain) injuries; at
least 65% of the persons suffering head injuries were not wearing
helmets;
     The largest injury diagnosis categories were contusions
and abrasions (27%), and fractures and dislocations (26%);
     37% of the injuries involved the arm region; 28% involved
the leg region;
     13% of the emergency department injuries were hospital
admitted (compared with 4% of all product-related injuries reported to
the Commission under the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System
(``NEISS''));
     About 4% of drivers involved in injury incidents reported
formal ATV training or training by a dealer or sales person.

C. Report on ATV Deaths

    The CPSC estimates that there have been over 3,200 ATV-related
deaths since 1985. Estimated ATV-related deaths declined from about 350
in 1986 to an estimated 269 in 1996. In evaluating the characteristics
of drivers and ATVs that have been involved in fatal injuries, the
staff has found that:
     Over 35% of the deaths involved children under age 16;
     87% of the deaths since 1985 were to males;

[[Page 48201]]

     85% of those killed were drivers, 14% passengers (1% were
drivers or passengers of other types of vehicles);
     The percentage of three-wheel ATVs involved in deaths
declined from 80% in 1985 to less than 20% in 1996; and
     Incidents reported as collisions accounted for 56% of the
deaths; overturns were involved in about 28% of all deaths.

D. Risk Analysis

    The risk analysis showed that although the overall risk of ATV-
related injury has declined since the 1980s (as indicated in the injury
analysis), the factors associated with risk are consistent with those
quantified in the earlier 1985 and 1989 risk analyses and include the
same types of warned against behavior previously observed. As in the
earlier analyses, risk patterns are related to the characteristics and
use patterns of the drivers, and the types of ATVs that they drive. The
results suggest that:
     Risk of injury declines with age (the younger the driver
the higher the risk);
     Risk for children is about 2.5 times the risk for drivers
aged 16 to 34, and about 4.5 times the risk for drivers aged 35 to 54;
     Risk declines with driving experience;
     Risk declines with the percentage of time that ATVs are
used in nonrecreational (as opposed to recreational) activities;
     Risk is higher for males than for females (all else equal,
risk is about 3 times higher for males than for females); and
     Holding all other factors constant, risk is 2.5 to 3 times
higher on three-wheel ATVs than on four-wheel ATVs.

The Undertakings of the Companies

A. General Description

    The ATV Action Plan is described in letters of undertaking
submitted to the Commission staff by Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki and
Polaris and in an ``Extended Action Plan'' submitted by Arctic Cat. In
addition, Honda has submitted a letter of undertaking that describes
the post-Consent Decree actions that it proposes to take. Copies of
these documents may be obtained from the Office of the Secretary,
Consumer Product Safety Commission, Washington, DC 20207.
    In discussing issues regarding ATV safety, the Commission staff has
placed special emphasis on measures to address the deaths and injuries
to children who drive and ride adult-size ATVs. The staff also has
emphasized the need to train inexperienced drivers. The actions of the
companies will include measures that directly address these two areas
of concern. Unless otherwise noted, each of the companies voluntarily
has agreed that it will:
     Implement an informational/educational (``I&E'') effort to
communicate safety-related information to consumers.

(There will be two I&E programs, one will be carried out by Honda, the
other will be a joint effort of Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Polaris and
Arctic Cat. Honda's I&E effort will consist primarily of a nationwide
advertising campaign that will address specific areas of safety
(underage youth riding inappropriately sized ATVs, youths carrying
passengers, and use of protective gear) with a message to adults and
care givers that can be conveyed to young riders. Print advertisements
will appear in various enthusiast, hunting and outdoors, and farming
magazines, and magazines targeting parents of school-age children.
Honda estimates that the cost of its program over the next three years
will be approximately $3.5 million. Honda's I&E campaign is more fully
described in its letter of undertaking. The I&E campaign of Yamaha,
Kawasaki, Suzuki, Polaris and Arctic Cat will be a multi-faceted effort
designed to emphasize various safety warnings related to ATVs,
especially as they relate to ATV use by children. Among other things,
the companies will develop and distribute with each new ATV a CD-ROM
program. Materials will also be sent to selected schools and public
libraries throughout the nation. The companies will also communicate
ATV safety information through paid ads, direct mail, safety posters,
teaching aids for school teachers, and websites. The companies estimate
that the cost of the program over the next three years will be
approximately $6 million to $7 million. The I&E campaign of Yamaha,
Kawasaki, Suzuki, Polaris and Arctic Cat is more fully described in a
August 12, 1998 letter to the Commission from David P. Murray, Esq. A
copy of this letter may be obtained from the Office of the Secretary,
Consumer Product Safety Commission, Washington, DC 20207.)
     Continue to offer a free hands-on training course (using
the same training programs and curricula that have been approved by the
Commission) to all purchasers and members of their immediate families;

(All of the companies except Polaris will continue to offer the
existing Specialty Vehicle Institute of America (``SVIA'') training
program, using curriculum and procedures that have been approved by the
Commission. Polaris' training program will continue to be conducted at
the time of sale by a certified instructor at each Polaris dealership,
also using Commission approved curriculum and procedures. Polaris'
curriculum has been modified to include a required minimum number of
repetitions of riding maneuvers for inexperienced riders. The company
has also agreed that it will continue to retain the services of an
independent firm to conduct monitoring of its dealers to assure that
its training program is conducted properly.)
     All companies offering the SVIA training program (except
Honda) will offer an increased incentive of $100 cash or equivalent
value per ATV sold to every first time purchaser without prior
operating experience where such purchaser or a family member takes
training;

(Yamaha's incentive offer will give the purchaser the option of
choosing either $75 cash or $50 cash and a $50 cash rebate on the
purchase of a Yamaha ATV helmet. Suzuki will offer a $100 cash
incentive to all first time purchasers and will continue to offer a $50
cash incentive to purchasers who are not first time purchasers.)
(The actions of Honda with regard to the training incentive are
discussed below.)
    In addition, each company, except where noted, will voluntarily
continue to:
     Recommend, market, and sell adult size ATVs (i.e., ATVs
with engine sizes greater than 90 cc) only for the use of persons age
sixteen and older;

(Arctic Cat has established a minimum age of 16 for Arctic Cat ATVs
with engine sizes greater than 90 cc up to 350 cc, and a minimum age of
18 for Arctic Cat ATVs with an engine size greater than 350cc.)
     Recommend, market, and sell youth size ATVs (i.e., ATVs
with engine sizes between 70 cc and 90 cc) only for the use of persons
age 12 and older;
     Use best efforts to obtain dealer compliance with the age
recommendations, including through undercover monitoring of at least as
many randomly selected dealers as was done under previous monitoring
agreements with the Commission, and to terminate non-complying dealers
in appropriate circumstances;

(Arctic Cat has agreed to extend for five years its detailed
Commission-approved dealer monitoring agreement that expired on April
28, 1998. The other companies, except Honda, have stated that they will
continue with the same level of dealer monitoring as under previous
monitoring programs and will

[[Page 48202]]

use the same procedures. The actions of Honda with regard to dealer
monitoring are discussed below.)
     Not market or sell three-wheel ATVs;
     Use existing warning labels that were approved by the
Commission on all ATVs;
     Use hang tags that convey the same substantive safety
messages as current hang tags;
     Include in owner's manuals the same substantive
informational content set forth in the Consent Decrees and Arctic Cat
Agreement;
     Assure that future advertising adheres to specified
provisions of the advertising guidelines set forth in the Consent
Decrees and Arctic Cat Agreement;
     Continue to provide a toll-free hotline for consumers
interested in obtaining ATV safety information; and
     Provide to dealers for dissemination to prospective
customers the same substantive safety messages contained in the ``ATV
Safety Alert'' set forth in the Consent Decrees and Arctic Cat
Agreement.

(The position of Honda with regard to dissemination of the ATV Safety
Alert by its dealers is discussed below.)
    Each company, except where noted, will also:
     Distribute to all future purchasers an updated ATV safety
video that will contain the same substantive safety messages as the
current video and will stress the importance of ATV training (the
companies will continue to make available to all purchasers the current
video until distribution of the updated video begins);
     Participate in efforts to update and revise the Voluntary
Standard for ATVs; and
     Give the Commission at least 60 days notice of any
material changes in the company's undertakings under the ATV Action
Plan (Arctic Cat has agreed to extend its recently expired Action Plan
for five more years).

(The position of Honda with regard to the giving of notice to the
Commission is discussed below.)

B. Honda's ATV Program

    Honda's commitments under its ATV program depart from those of the
other companies in the following respects:
1. Safety Alert
    Honda will not provide to dealers for dissemination to ATV
purchasers the ``ATV Safety Alert'' that was required under the Consent
Decrees. The Safety Alert has communicated important ATV safety
information to the consumer at the time of sale, including updated
information concerning ATV fatalities. Honda has taken the position
that because information in the Safety Alert is duplicative of other
warnings being provided to purchasers, continued dissemination of the
Safety Alert is not necessary. The Commission staff believes that
continued use of the Safety Alert is important because the Safety Alert
is the only communication to purchasers that includes data on ATV-
related deaths, thereby stressing the importance of following the
warnings that are provided. The same information was required under the
Consent Decrees in a safety poster in dealer showrooms, but the safety
poster has been discontinued.
2. Dealer Monitoring
    Honda has stated that representations by sales personnel are not
the crucial point in determining underage riding habits, and that the
problem is not a lack of awareness, but a failure to follow the age
recommendations. Honda has indicated that, under these circumstances, a
different use of resources might be more efficient in preventing
underage riding.
    Honda has indicated that, instead of selecting dealers for
undercover monitoring using a statistically valid sampling methodology,
its monitoring will be targeted at dealers that it suspects may be
violating the age recommendations. The Commission staff does not oppose
the targeting of suspect dealers for monitoring; however, the staff
contends that a monitoring program in which a sufficient number of
dealers are selected for monitoring based on a statistically valid
sampling methodology is also necessary in order to measure any increase
or decrease in the compliance rate of all Honda ATV dealers. Random
monitoring has served in the past to ferret out non-complying dealers
so that corrective measures could be taken to assure future compliance
with the age recommendations in the promotion and sale of ATVs. Without
random monitoring, the staff has no assurance that the monitoring
program could not be unfairly manipulated to provide an inaccurate
portrait of overall dealer compliance. Random selection of dealers
ensures that a company's selection of dealers for monitoring will not
come to be dominated by dealers known to comply with the age
recommendations.
3. The Training Incentive
    Honda has not agreed to offer cash incentives to first time
purchasers as a means of encouraging participation in the training
course. The company has indicated that it is aware of no credible
evidence or studies suggesting that past cash incentives have been a
significant inducement to purchasers and/or their families to take the
training course. The company also indicated that it believes that there
are other techniques that can be as effective, if not more so, than the
current program of cash incentives. Honda's post-Consent Decree
training incentive will consist of giving every Honda ATV purchaser who
takes training the chance to enter a quarterly drawing for a cash
reimbursement of the price of the ATV purchased and an annual drawing
for a new car. The total annual value of the prizes to be awarded will
be approximately $40,000. Honda contends that its contest for prizes
will be more effective than a cash incentive of $100 or equivalent
value in promoting participation in the training program. The
Commission staff contends that the total annual value of prizes offered
by Honda is too small, and the chances of winning too remote, for the
contest to serve as a meaningful incentive. Honda's contest
expenditures will be far less than the amount that would be expended if
the company offered an incentive of $100 cash or equivalent value to
first time purchasers of Honda ATVs.
4. Reporting Changes in Honda's ATV Program
    Unlike the other distributors, Honda has not agreed to notify the
Commission in advance of changes in its ATV program. The Commission
staff contends that such notice is essential in order for the
Commission to consider whether it should take action with regard to any
such changes. Moreover, the staff believes that advance notice,
together with the Commission's reservation of all of its enforcement
rights with respect to ATVs, will discourage industry from making
frequent material changes in the ATV Action Plan.

CPSC Monitoring of Companies' Actions

    The CPSC staff will closely monitor the continuing actions of the
companies. Among other things, the staff will periodically seek
information from the companies concerning their current practices with
regard to ATV advertisements, actions taken with regard to their
informational/educational programs, the effectiveness of their
respective training incentives in promoting training by first time
purchasers without prior operating experience, and the results of their
undercover dealer monitoring programs

[[Page 48203]]

(including information concerning dealer termination actions).
    Because many of the actions under the ATV Action Plan, as well as
the actions of Honda, will be implemented through each company's
dealers, including prohibitions on the promotion and sale of larger
ATVs for the use of underage riders at the dealer level, the CPSC staff
will greatly enhance its efforts to assure dealer compliance with these
actions. At least in the first year that the ATV Action Plan is in
place, the staff expects to approximately double the number of
undercover dealer inspections that it has conducted in recent years.
These inspections will identify dealers that do not comply with the age
requirements so that remedial action, including termination of the
dealership agreement, where appropriate, can be taken. The staff will
also add to its monitoring program a substantial number of general
inspections of ATV dealers to determine, among other things, whether
required warnings (labels, hang tags) are affixed to each ATV, whether
warning information is communicated to each purchaser in safety videos
and safety alerts, whether dealer advertisements comply with
advertising guidelines specified in the ATV Action Plan, and whether
dealers are promoting the taking of ATV training. Where deficiencies
are found as a result of any of the above monitoring activities, the
CPSC will take appropriate action to assure that the company in
question takes appropriate remedial action.
    The CPSC staff will monitor, as well as participate in, the process
to update the Voluntary Standard. In this regard, the staff has
communicated to the companies various issues that should be discussed
in the context of a review and updating of the Voluntary Standard,
including changes in vehicle equipment and configuration provisions to
reflect current production, certain revisions of test requirements,
changes to definitional terms, and revisions to reflect current
labeling, hang tag, owner's manual and training practices. The updating
of the Voluntary Standard will be coordinated by the American National
Standards Institute. The procedures of that organization, including the
opportunity to participate in the process of updating the Standard,
will be followed.

Request for Comments

    The Commission solicits public comments on the proposed Resolution
published below. The Resolution would commend Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki,
Polaris and Arctic Cat for the ATV Action Plan. A Commission
commendation of these companies would be consistent with the
Commission's policy of encouraging companies to voluntarily take action
that will help to reduce the risk of injury associated with consumer
products. Although the ATV Action Plan does not create enforceable
rights that can be exercised by the Commission, the companies have
voluntarily made substantial commitments to continue certain actions
that were part of the Consent Decrees and Arctic Cat Agreement and to
implement additional actions to further promote safe and responsible
use of ATVs that will, in the opinion of the Commission, enhance ATV
rider safety. The Commission wishes whenever possible to acknowledge
companies that voluntarily enhance consumer safety. The Commission
believes that, in view of the risks associated with ATV use, the
actions described in the ATV Action Plan will continue to be necessary
for the foreseeable future. Furthermore, as any new companies enter
this market, the Commission will seek the agreement of such companies
to take actions that are comparable to the continuing actions of the
companies under the ATV Action Plan.
    The Commission is pleased that Honda will implement a unique and
creative informational and educational campaign that will address
specific areas of ATV safety that are of major concern to the
Commission, including, most importantly, warnings against the use of
adult size ATVs by underage riders. The Commission is also pleased that
Honda has agreed to provide adequate funding for its campaign during
each of the next three years. Although the Commission welcomes certain
of the other actions that Honda will take, the Commission staff, as
noted above, is dissatisfied with those parts of the company's program
that relate to safety alerts, dealer monitoring, training incentives,
and the refusal to notify the Commission at least 60 days in advance of
any material changes in its program. For these reasons, the Commission
staff cannot recommend to the Commission that its Resolution include a
commendation of Honda's ATV program.
    The Resolution also announces that the Commission will actively
monitor actions taken under the Action Plan and will take appropriate
action, where necessary, based on the results of this monitoring
activity.
    The Commission will consider all comments received in response to
this notice before acting on the staff's recommendation that it adopt
the proposed Resolution. In commenting, the public should be aware that
the Commission does not have the authority to impose requirements on
the use of ATVs (as opposed to requirements relating to the production
and sale of ATVs). Many of the States have exercised their authority to
impose requirements that relate to the use of ATVs; however, such
requirements generally vary from State to State. The Commission
believes that, in particular, there needs to be greater attention to
the age issue at the State level. The Commission continues to be
willing to work with the States in addressing safety issues related to
the use of ATVs.
    If the Commission adopts the Resolution, it will be available from
the Office of the Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission,
Washington, DC 20207 after October 26, 1998.

    Dated: September 2, 1998.
Sadye E. Dunn,
Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission.

(Proposed) Resolution of the United States Consumer Product Safety
Commission

    The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (the
``Commission''), by vote on August 28, 1998, Resolves that:
    Whereas, on April 28, 1988, the United States of America entered
into Consent Decrees, filed in U.S. District Court, with American Honda
Motor Co., Inc., Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A., Kawasaki Motors Corp.,
U.S.A., U.S. Suzuki Motor Corp. (nka American Suzuki Motor Corp.), and
Polaris Industries, L.P. (nka Polaris Industries Inc.), which expired
on April 28, 1998 (the ``Consent Decrees'');
    Whereas, on September 27, 1996, the Commission entered into an
Agreement and Action Plan with Arctic Cat Inc., which expired on April
28, 1998 (the ``Arctic Cat Agreement''); and
    Whereas, the Consent Decrees and Arctic Cat Agreement required the
signatory companies to implement various measures designed to enhance
consumer safety with respect to all-terrain vehicles (``ATVs''); and
    Whereas, on April 24, 1998, the Commission released the results and
analysis of its 1997 ATV injury and exposure surveys, and those surveys
indicate that, among other things, (i) risk of injury is 2.5 times
higher when children younger than 16 drive ATVs than for drivers 16 to
34 years of age and 4.5 times higher for such children than for drivers
35 to 54 years of age; and (ii) risk declines with experience, for
which

[[Page 48204]]

the Commission believes formal training is a partial surrogate; and
    Whereas, the Commission remains concerned about the current level
of deaths and injuries associated with ATVs, especially those involving
children younger than 16, and believes enhanced safety efforts may
achieve a further reduction in such deaths and injuries; and
    Whereas, the staff of the Commission and Yamaha Motor Corp.,
U.S.A., Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A., American Suzuki Motor Corp.,
Polaris Industries Inc., and Arctic Cat Inc. (collectively, the
``Participating Companies'') have actively consulted on actions that
the companies will voluntarily undertake (the ``ATV Action Plan''); and
    Whereas, the ATV Action Plan is set forth in separate documents
that the Participating Companies have submitted to the Commission's
staff; and
    Whereas, a description of the ATV Action Plan, together with a
draft copy of this Resolution and other materials, was published in the
Federal Register on ______________, 1998, and the public was invited to
comment on this Resolution and the Commission has considered such
comments in adopting this Resolution; and
    Whereas, pursuant to the ATV Action Plan, the Participating
Companies will (i) promote training, including through enhanced cash
incentives to first-time ATV purchasers (or, in the case of Polaris,
through requiring that previously untrained purchasers take training in
order to receive a warranty on the vehicle), (ii) implement a multi-
million dollar, multi-year information and education safety campaign
emphasizing, among other things, the risks created when children
younger than 16 operate or ride on adult-sized ATVs, (iii) not market,
sell or offer to sell adult-size ATVs to or for use by children younger
than 16, (iv) not market or sell three-wheel ATVs, (v) provide safety
information on and with ATVs, including giving an ATV Safety Alert to
each purchaser, (vi) retain the services of an independent organization
to continue the undercover monitoring of the same number of randomly
selected dealers as was done under previous monitoring programs (vii)
continue or undertake various other safety measures, and (viii) notify
the Commission at least 60 days in advance of any material changes to
the ATV Action Plan (Arctic Cat Inc. has agreed to continue with its
actions under the ATV Action Plan for five years); and
    Whereas, notwithstanding implementation of the ATV Action Plan, the
Commission reserves all its statutory enforcement, regulatory and
oversight powers with respect to ATVs.
    Now, therefore:
    1. The Commission commends the Participating Companies for the ATV
Action Plan, which the Commission believes will provide safety benefits
to consumers.
    2. The Commission will actively monitor the ATV Action Plan by,
among other things, increasing the undercover inspections it conducts
of dealerships to ensure compliance with age recommendations;
increasing its inspections to ensure proper use of labels and hangtags;
and collecting and assessing information regarding the effectiveness of
the new training incentives.
    Other activities are set forth in the Federal Register notice
announcing this Resolution. The Commission will take appropriate action
based on the results of this monitoring activity. The Commission also
will continue to track the death and injury rate associated with ATVs
and reserves its authority to take action based on this data.

[FR Doc. 98-24073 Filed 9-8-98; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6355-01-P