One in six miss quad bike safety standards: ACCC

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Most sellers of all-terrain vehicles complied with safety standards that came into effect last year, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission says

The ACCC found roughly one in six were not compliant with the safety standard

Market surveillance conducted by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) has revealed 84 per cent of the quad bikes sold in Australia complied with recenly introduced safety standards when sold. 

The ACCC joined state-based consumer law regulators to detemine whether both manufacturers and dealers of all-terrain vehicles met the Stage 1 Safety Standards that came into effect in October last year. 

Those standards stipulate that all new and imported second hand quad bikes in Australia must carry roll over warning labels, as well as being tested for lateral static stability and be sold with a hang tag attached that shows the angle at which the quad bike will tip onto two wheels. Roll over safety information must also be included in the owner’s manual.

These measures were introduced to improve the safety of the vehicles, which were the leading cause of death and serious injuries on Australian farms.

Across the past decade, 163 people have died in quad bike-related incidents including three which has occurred in 2021.

ACCC deputy chair Mick Keogh says suppliers cooperated with the investigations, and added that the clear majority of dealers were complying with the new standards.

"Although 16 per cent of quad bikes inspected, or roughly one in six, were not compliant with the safety standard, suppliers have so far cooperated with our investigations and taken steps to fix problems, including recalling non-compliant bikes where necessary," Keogh says.

Among those was Suzuki, which the ACCC said formally recalled 490 quad bikes in March after finding they were not fitted with the required labels and reflectors.

"Enforcing the quad bike safety standard is an ACCC priority this year and all quad bike suppliers should be aware that we will be keeping a very close eye on their compliance," Keogh adds. 

Stage 2 of the Safety Standard on quad bikes will come into effect on October 11 this year, which will require all new and second hand imported general use quad bikes sold in the country be fitted with operator protection devices (OPDs) and meet the minimum stability requirements.

OPDs must be either fitted into the bike or integrated into the bike’s design while also meeting lateral stability minimum tilt table ratio (TTR) of 0.55 and a front and rear longitudinal pitch stability TTR of 0.8.

CFMoto released an OPD quad bike in 2020

Keogh says the implementation of Stage 2 standards in October are pivotal for improving farm safety. 

"The second stage requirements are absolutely critical for improving the safety of quad bikes and saving lives," Keogh says. 

"Suppliers have had plenty of time to make sure that all new quad bikes for sale meet all requirements of the Safety Standard."

"We will be conducting national surveillance again this year and cracking down on anyone supplying non-compliant quad bikes," Keogh adds.  

Following the new announcement of the safety regulations last year, major manufacturers Polaris, Yamaha, Honda and Suzuki all announced their intention to withdraw from the Australian all-terrain vehicle market. 

Segway, CFMoto and Kymco are among the companies that have committed to meeting the new regulations and will continue selling compliant ATVs in Australia. 

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