Late to the States: Pagani Huayra Denied Airbag Exemption by NHTSA


We had high hopes that the Pagani Huayra was set to arrive sometime next year. In the past month, an uncovered tester has been spotted testing in various spots throughout our nation – a sure-tell sign that a production model ready for sale is soon on the way.

Unfortunately, we may have to wait a bit longer. A few years longer, to be exact. According to a report by Bloomberg, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration denied Pagani’s financial hardship exemption for advanced airbags, a requirement for all vehicles sold in the States. Advanced airbags use sensors to adjust the force of deployment based on the passenger’s weight and height. For low-production car companies such as Pagani, integrating the technology into its cars is a costly proposition that doesn’t make much business sense. Tesla and Lamborghini, for example, both use the airbag exemption to sell cars in the United States (though Lambo’s exemption has since expired).

Unlike the Pagani Zonda, the Huayra was developed to meet strict U.S. safety and emissions regulations. It’s obvious that the Italian supercar maker had high hopes the NHTSA would approve its request for an airbag exemption because there doesn’t appear to be a plan B. Pagani attempted to make its case back in February by stating it would need to spend 4 million euros to develop an advanced airbag program. The automaker also estimated it would lose $4.5 million in profits from 2011-2014 if the waiver was denied.

And the biggest blow, for us anyway, is that the Huayra’s arrival is pushed back to at least 2015. Pagani originally hoped to start selling the Huayra here sometime next year.

Source: Bloomberg

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