Manager, Office of the Chairman
SANYO North America Corporation
2055 Sanyo Avenue
San Diego, CA 92173
Dear Mr. Koelling:
This is in reply to your letter of April 16, 1997, about the Sanyo "Enacle" pedal assist bicycle.
You refer to the agency's interpretation letter of February 16, 1993, to J.C. Townley in which we advised him of our conclusion, on the basis of the facts in his letter, that the Yamaha pedal assisted bicycle is not a "motor vehicle" required to comply with the Federal motor vehicle safety standards. You state that Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd. produces a very similar product that "is operated on the same principle as the Yamaha product, i.e. a torque sensor that activates when muscular effort is applied. In other words, just as with the Yamaha product, the Enacle will not operate on its own, in the absence of muscular assist." You ask for confirmation that, for the same reasons as set forth in the Townley letter, the Enacle would not be classified as a motor vehicle.
We confirm that interpretation. Pedal assisted bicycles whose power assist is insufficient alone to drive the bicycle are not "motor vehicles" subject to our jurisdiction, but instead are under the jurisdiction of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Noting that your letter is headed "confidential" we asked you for a clarification. On May 14, 1997, you asked us to disregard the "Confidential" letterhead on which your letter was typed. Therefore, a copy of our response to you will be included in the agency's public interpretations file.
If you have any questions, you may refer them to Taylor Vinson of this Office (202-366-5263).
Acting Chief Counsel
cc: Consumer Product Safety Commission