Prospective owners of the Pagani Huayra in the U.S. are waiting with bated breath as to whether or not the Italian automaker will take the necessary steps to make the car street-legal for the States.
In the year 2000, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration put together some new guidelines for advanced air bags. The new regulations had to be met by all American automakers, however some exceptions were made for low volume producers such as Lamborghini and Tesla. Pagani has just tried to circumvent the rule by claiming that they lacked the financial resources to develop a new system for their sportscars.
The NHTSA wasn't buying it though and denied their application for an exemption. 15 orders have already been received by the Italian automakers from the U.S. market and now all eyes are on Pagani to see if they will go back and remodel their cars to meet U.S. standards or whether the Huayra will go the way of the Zonda and stay overseas. "Although Pagani has realized profits in recent years, the company asserted that immediate compliance with the advanced air-bag requirements will cause substantial economic hardship," wrote the NHTSA in a report. The gull-wing Huayra coupe prices at $1.1 million.
"Pagani stated that the company only operates on the cash on hand without lines of credit or debt financing, and its small profit margin is necessary to guard it from market fluctuations," reported the NHTSA. The advanced air-bag system requires a system of sensors that measures an occupant's height and weight for maximum protection in the case of a crash. The air-bag system is expected to cost at least $5.7 million. Update: According to sources at Pagani, they will in fact meet the U.S. air-bag regulations and have already been developing them. The car will arrive in 2013 and not in 2012, causing only a slight delay in their arrival time.