The recently unveiled Pagani Huayra has been denied entry in the US after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration refused to give it an exemption to the US design rule which states all cars much have an advanced airbag. It’s predicted to cost Pagani around 3.2 million euros ($4.45 million) to develop the airbags for the new supercar.
In 2000, the US roads and traffic authority introduced a new design rule for all new cars sold in the country. The new law stated that all cars must feature an advance airbag, which, above a conventional airbag, takes into account the driver’s height and weight characteristics to calculate optimum airbag deployment.
Special exemptions have been handed out to some cars in the past, such as some Lamborghini models and the all-electric Tesla Roadster. These models were exempt from the design rule due to the companies being relatively small and basically not being able to afford to develop such technologies.
Pagani did apply for an exemption as well, but has now been denied, much like the Pagani Zonda was. Pagani SpA is a very small company and has asked the NHTSA to take into account the financial burden developing such technology would press upon the company. The NHTSA has said in the notice of denial that,
“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.”
Pagani SpA said it relies on profits alone rather than lines of credit or debt financing, and says it does not have the financial flexibility to immediately engineer new advanced airbags.
So even though 15 Pagani Hauyras have been designated for the US, customers may have to wait until the exotic manufacturer comes up with the funds to develop and introduce advanced airbags. This isn’t expected to happen until 2015.