In a blow to Pagani, the U.S. government has denied a petition for exemption from provisions set forth by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, specifically its advanced-air-bag requirements. Pagani made the request for the exemption, stating that otherwise it would endure substantial financial hardship. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) denied the request because it believes small manufacturers now have better access to such technologies since the rule was first put into place. It notes that Spyker and Lotus, who also have exemptions pending, are trying to develop the airbags in-house or are currently working with suppliers to gain access to such systems.
With access to the U.S., Pagani was hoping to increase sales to 35–45 a year with 6–12 of that being from the United States. In its petition, Pagani estimates it would make 5,398,000 euros (approximately $7,693,229) in net income during the period of 2011–2014 without the exemption, compared to 8,613,000 euros (approximately $12,275,247) in net income during the same period if an exemption were granted. Pagani insists that without the exemption, it could not obtain the required air bags (and thus enter the U.S.) until 2015. Pagani was also hoping to increase production, which is currently capped out at 25 units a year. It had plans to expand its production capacity to 50–60 units per year worldwide with the capital it would take in by selling cars on U.S. soil.
The NHTSA started requiring advanced air bags in 2000 to improve the protection for occupants of all sizes, belted and unbelted, in moderate-to-high-speed crashes and to minimize the risks posed by air bags to infants and children in low-speed crashes.
[via Regulations.gov via Jalopnik]
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