University of NSW tests with quad bikes and dummies have shown how bikes can crush a driver in a rollover (Photo: UNSW)

August 26, 2021

Almost 20 per cent of quad bikes assessed at dealerships across Australia were not compliant with the first stage of the new national safety standard that came into force last October.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and State and territory consumer protection agencies co-ordinated a national market surveillance program to determine whether quad bike suppliers had complied with the Stage 1 requirements of the Quad Bike Safety Standard.

The standard was drafted to improve the safety of quad bikes, which are a leading cause of death and serious injuries on Australian farms.

It has been introduced in two stages, to provide manufacturers the time to make necessary adjustments to quad bikes.

Stage 1 requires that all new and imported secondhand quad bikes be tested for lateral static stability, have a hang tag attached to them showing the angle at which the quad bike tips on to two wheels, and carry a rollover warning label. The owner’s manual must also include rollover safety information.

“In partnership with the States and Territories we have visited quad bike dealerships around the country to see if quad bikes being sold meet the Stage 1 safety requirements,” ACCC Deputy Chair Mick Keogh said.

“Although 16 per cent of quad bikes inspected, or roughly one in six, were not compliant with the safety standard, suppliers have so far co-operated with our investigations and taken steps to fix problems, including recalling non-compliant bikes where necessary.”

In March, following site inspections by State regulators, Suzuki voluntarily recalled 490 quad bikes that were not fitted with the required reflectors, compliance certificate labels, hang tags, and had information missing from the owner’s manuals.

“Enforcing the quad bike safety standard is an ACCC priority this year and all quad bike suppliers should be aware that we will be keeping a very close eye on their compliance,” Mr Keogh said.

Stage 2 of the Safety Standard comes into force on October 11 this year.

From then, all new and secondhand imported general use quad bikes sold in Australia must be fitted with operator protection devices and meet minimum stability requirements.

“The second stage requirements are absolutely critical for improving the safety of quad bikes and saving lives,” Mr Keogh said.

“Suppliers have had plenty of time to make sure that all new quad bikes for sale meet all requirements of the Safety Standard.

“We will be conducting national surveillance again this year and cracking down on anyone supplying non-compliant quad bikes.”

Consumers and businesses can make a complaint to the ACCC if they believe they have seen a quad bike offered for sale – or have been sold – a quad bike that does not comply with the requirements of the standard.

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