Monday, August 15, 2011

Pagani’s new supercar, the V12-powered 700HP Huayra, will not be sold in the United States unless its maker conforms to the latest airbag regulations.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) denied Pagani’s request for an exemption to the 11-year old safety rule that mandates the existence of “smart” airbags.
These airbags, which are mandatory the last 11 years for all new cars under US regulations, have sensors that adjust the deployment force depending on the seat occupant’s weight and height. Only limited-production carmakers have been granted a waiver in the past five years, including Lamborghini and Tesla, based on financial grounds.
Pagani claims that, at best, it well sell five of its $1.1 million supercars in the US next year, whereas developing the advanced airbags demanded by US federal law would cost €4.0 million.
In addition, the loss of net income due to NHTSA’s denial of a waiver would cost it an additional $4.5 million (€3.2 million) until 2015.

NHTSA Notice Summary:
"This notice denies the petition of Pagani Automobili SpA (Pagani) for exemption from certain advanced air bag requirements of FMVSS No. 208, for the Huayra model.
The basis for the application is that the petitioner avers compliance would cause substantial economic hardship and that it has tried in good faith to comply with the standard. The agency has determined that Pagani has failed to demonstrate that compliance would cause substantial economic hardship.
Furthermore, the agency is unable to find that an exemption would be consistent with the public interest or the objectives of the Safety Act. This action follows our publication in the Federal Register of a document announcing receipt of Pagani’s petition and soliciting public comments.


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