Since the ACCC imposed new safety standards for ATVs in Australia, Honda has been threatening to quit the local market, and has now confirmed it will stop selling ATVs when the new laws come into force on 10 October 2021
Honda has long claimed that the ACCC has got its science wrong and that the enforced fitting of Operator Protection Devices (OPDs) in the form of rollover protection will not be practical or effective.
In confirming its decision to exit the market, the company’s Australian director of motorcycles, Peter Singleton, said, “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 rejected, and we are here in this position today.”
Honda says current ATV owners will still be supported with parts and servicing for an extended period.
Honda ATVs will continue to be sold by dealers until 10 October 2021, and the company is suggesting there will be increased demand from customers hoping to beat the introduction of the new laws.
Honda says it is a strong advocate for rider safety and continues to insist that the mandated wearing of helmets, rider education and the banning of riders under 16 from full-sized bikes is a more effective strategy to address the appalling safety record of quad bikes.
The ACCC, however, says its regulations are based on solid science and that there is good evidence that rollover protection saves lives.
The ACCC’s investigation included expert advice from engineers and detailed analysis of statistics associated with quad bike fatalities.
Its findings were that quad bikes are inherently unstable, and even very experienced riders that just happened to have that one unfortunate situation seemed to be over-represented in fatalities.
In addition, the ACCC disputes claims from the likes of Honda that no quad bike could be made compliant with the new regulations.
And the ACCC added that it had been advised by a number of manufacturers that there were no perceived practical difficulties with meeting the requirements.
There have already been two quad bike rollover fatalities in Australia in 2021 and those deaths come on the back of a total of 23 deaths in 2020 from rollovers, collisions and other accidents.
At the same time as Honda is making its move to quit the market, other companies are embracing the new laws.
The local distributor of Taiwanese brand TGB says it is more than happy to comply with the ACCC regulations. It has just launched four new models that will be fitted with locally made OPDs and be fully covered under insurance policies issued by Lloyd’s of London.
Take a look at the TGB range, here.