Government pushes for stronger standards on ATVs, particularly those imported from China
More people die on ATVs than through use of any other product regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. 900 people die each year using the things, which were completely unregulated until last year. Consumer advocates argue that they should be regulated in the same manner as automobiles and that the currently-adopted industry standards are grossly inadequate. Chinese manufacturers, who build cheap, down-sized ATVs for kids, have been importing models that do not even meet the minimum standards adopted by the domestic manufacturers.
Of the 15,000 products monitored by the CPSC, none cause more injuries or deaths than ATVs. In 2002, nearly 900,000 were sold in the U.S., with the Chinese accounting for about one-quarter. By 2008, the Chinese had captured a much larger share of the market, focusing primarily on cheaper kids' models. More than 100 kids are killed each year and 40,000 more go to the Emergency Room with injuries. "It's basically a race to the bottom to see who can get the cheapest machine" according to one industry analyst, and Sue Rabe of Concerned Families for ATV Safety is trying to fight this trend. She lost her ten-year old son in an ATV rollover accident.