Safety Technology

America Won't Deport Aston Martin After All

Temporary exemptions can always be made.

Back in August word came out that Aston Martin had a bit of a problem. In fact, it was a potentially major problem. The fairly small UK-based sports car builder faced a good chance of a dramatic sales loss in the US market. It’d be illegal to sell the DB9 and Vantage. The reason? Neither model (both coupe and convertible) complied with newly imposed side impact crash test safety standards. Both failed the test, and it would have cost AM roughly $30 million to bring them into compliance – money the company doesn’t have at the moment.

In order to salvage its US sales and not risk putting 40 percent of its dealers at major financial risk, AM petitioned the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) for an exemption from that new standard. And the NHTSA has now officially agreed to that request, stating that "The basis for the grant is that compliance would cause substantial economic hardship to a low volume manufacturer that has tried in good faith to comply with the standard." This extension simply buys time, giving the DB9 until August 2016 and the Vantage until August 2017 to comply.

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