Honda has advised that due to the new standard passed by the Australian government in October 2019, the company will no longer sell ATVs in Australia after 10 October 2021.
Honda stated the reason behind their decision was because the standard represents a set of regulations that cannot be entirely met by any ATV in the market today.
It also concluded it is unlikely to be met by anything in the future and forces Honda to exit the ATV category.
The safety standard Honda refers to applies to all new ATVs (quad bikes) sold from 11 October 2020 with additional requirements for general use ATVs sold from 11 October 2021. The standard does not apply to second-hand quad bikes other than those imported into Australia.
The new standard passed by the Australian government states its purpose is to prevent or reduce the risk of fatality or injury associated with the use of quad bikes.
According to Product Safety Australia there have been at least 128 fatalities during 2011–18 and it is estimated that six people present to an emergency department each day, of which two are admitted to hospital with serious injuries. Around 15 per cent of deaths involve children.
The safety standard sets out the requirements for new quad bikes and imported second-hand quad bikes. According to Product Safety Australia it is intended to:
- improve information for consumers (through a hang tag, warning for operators and additional information in the manual) from 11 October 2020.
- improve the design of quad bikes (through requiring quad bikes to meet certain requirements in the US or European Standard) from 11 October 2020.
- improve the design of general use quad bikes to reduce the likelihood of a rollover incident occurring (through stability requirements) and to mitigate the harm if a rollover does occur (through operator protection devices) from 11 October 2021.
Managing Director of Honda Australia Motorcycle and Power Equipment, Mr Robert Toscano said, “The new Standard is extremely disappointing for farm safety and the countless farmers who rely on quad bikes every day. The safety of our customers is paramount, we will never compromise on this.
“Now that the rules have changed, it means we have to say goodbye to our ATV line up down under.
“Safety standards must be evidence-based, in both criteria and testing methods, to internationally accepted standards.
“Honda has provided research to show the negative outcomes of the governments’ proposal but unfortunately it was not considered and we are here in this position today.”
Honda has indicated it will continue to advocate for the known and proven safety measures, accepted and agreed by safety experts, coronial inquests and the manufacturers.
The company named these measures as mandating helmets for all quad bike riders, support for mandating rider training and stopping children under 16 years of age from riding adult size quad bikes.
Honda indicated these measures also remains critical for most forms of farm vehicles including motorcycles and SSV.
“In light of this, we want to assure customers that Honda will continue to support ATV parts and servicing for the next decade at a minimum,” Mr Toscano said.
“We also offer a range of purpose built SXS (Side by Sides) in our Pioneer line up and our ever-popular Honda AG bikes.”
This decision from Honda means that anyone looking to purchase a new Honda ATV will only have up until 10 October 2021.
Honda dealerships will be depleting their stock in the lead up to this date with some models to be discontinued as soon as 10 October 2020.
Honda has advised its dealers will continue to support parts and servicing until at least 2030.
Honda will also continue to support customers within this market segment, with their range of purpose built SXS models in the Pioneer line up as well as continue to supply the ‘tough as they come’ AG bikes.
Honda states it is committed to the safety of consumers and will continue to advocate for the known safety measures of: wearing a helmet, promoting and conducting rider training and age appropriate use of any 2-wheel and 4-wheel product.
These are the Honda ATV models that won’t be available after 10 October 2020.
The TRX500FM2, TRX500FM6, TRX500FA7, and TRX680FA.
These models, except TRX680FA, have been replaced with the 520 range that will be available up until 10 October 2021.
All Honda ATV models will be discontinued after October 2021.