WASHINGTON — The makers of all-terrain vehicles agreed in court today to halt sales of their three-wheel models and to provide safety training for owners of other, four-wheel models that pose an "imminent and unreasonable" threat of injury or death, the Justice Department announced.
More than 900 people, many of them children, have been killed riding the so-called ATVs over the last five years, and nearly 7,000 injuries are reported monthly. The off-road vehicles are characterized by their large, balloon-like tires, large saddle seats and handlebar steering.
The court-enforced arrangement fell far short of demands from consumer groups that the industry be forced to buy back ATVs from buyers.
Under terms of a consent decree, the manufacturers--Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki and Yamaha--will repurchase tens of thousands of those models from dealer inventories.