CPSIA Update: Rush Limbaugh and the Withdrawn Dirt Bikes

By February 18, 2009Regulations

A lengthy and useful segment on yesterday’s Rush Limbaugh program on the jobs-killing implementation of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, headlined on his website, “Where’s the Lead Law Uproar?

A manufacturer of off-road motorcyles calls from Hillsdale, Michigan. He reports the reality that too many in Congress are ignoring:

Rush, to clarify one point there, they’ve already taken their products off the shelves. This has happened last week. The big four manufacturers (the big four being Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki and Yamaha) have all mandated that their dealers take everything off the floor and this weekend I was at a trade show. I talked to a lot of these dealers, and a lot of them are on the brink anyway because of the shape our economy is. This is enough in many cases to just push them over the edge.

RUSH: Right. Because if you can’t put your product on the showroom and you can’t display it, how do you sell it?

CALLER: That’s it. That’s it. So that’s the first part of this issue. The second part that needs to be brought to light is the testing requirements that the CPSC is putting in place, and they put a reprieve of one year on these requirements, but the fact of the matter is that each and every component of one of these kids’ products — it could be a motorcycle or it can be anything. But as of February of 2010 each and every component has to be tested by a third-party, government-accredited laboratory. And we’ve done some initial looks into this. We’ve obviously tested a lot of our parts already, from non-accredited labs because the accreditation process isn’t even done yet. But to do this is going to cost us about one year of revenues, which is, you know, obviously that’s going to put companies like ours completely out of business.

It’s a good discussion, with the caller making a realistic assessment that Congress failed to give domestic manufacturers enough thought because the political reaction was against China and contaminated Chinese toys.

A discussion on Rush takes the already hot issue to another level, and the national attention is very welcome. Of course he knocks the Democrats in Congress, which might get some backs up and discourage action, but there’s enough bipartisan blame to go around: The bill passed the House 424-1 and the Senate 89-3.

To all those who regard Limbaugh as a blowhard, well, then read the caller’s comments: Safe products are being removed from the marketplace and testing requirements cost a year’s worth of revenues.

Fix it.

UPDATE (11 a.m.): Cobra Motorcyles, located in Hillsdale, was profiled in the Detroit Free Press last month, “Cobra Motorcycles sees sales surge by serving young racing crowd.”

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  • […] Unless you’re a New York Times editorialist, in which case you might not notice it under your own nose, it’s easy to find good coverage of the appalling debacle CPSIA has brought for youth powersports — motorbikes, mini-ATVs and the like. There’s USA Today, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Rapid City (S.D.) Journal, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, and Marketing Daily, for instance, as well as the discussion on Rush Limbaugh. […]

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