Following reports of serious and fatal accidents involving the use of mini-motorbikes, the Commission has sent a letter to all 25 Member States urging them to take action against the unsafe products.
In the past year, several Member States have notified the Commission, via the EU’s Product Safety “Rapid Alert System” (RAPEX), of the serious risks of injuries, burns and fire, due to the major design and construction defects of certain mini-motorbikes.
These mini-bikes are reduced scale copies of racing motorbikes. They are inexpensive and often imported from Asia, legally or not.
The bikes have petrol engines and cannot therefore be classified as toys, which means they cannot be tested against EU toy safety standards. Nor are they road legal, so they cannot be tested against the standards that apply to normal motorbikes, even though some can reach speeds of up to 100 km/h.
EU Consumer Protection Commissioner Markos Kyprianou said: “These bikes are designed to appeal to youngsters through their small size and speed. But they are not toys and can kill.”
In its letter of 10 July 2006, the Commission asked Member States to alert consumers to the dangers of these products, to improve testing of the machines before they are put on sale and to ensure the withdrawal of unsafe products.