Feds block Pagani Huayra U.S. sales over air bags for kids

Illustration for article titled Feds block Pagani Huayra U.S. sales over air bags for kids

The Pagani Huayra, the insanity-squared Italian supercar with a catfish front-end, a 700-hp twin-turbo V12 engine, and an unpronounceable name has now joined a distinguished group: Cars blocked by the United States government from being sold on these shores. The reason? Air bags for kids.


Today the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced it would not grant Pagani a waiver from safety rules requiring passenger-sensing air bags, halting the company from selling the six to 12 Huyaras at $1.1 million apiece it expected to deliver to wealthy U.S. fans annually. Pagani had been counting on the U.S. market — setting up a California dealership, hosting an unveiling and testing the Huayras on U.S. roads in western states.

Pagani had asked NHTSA for its pass back in 2008, and had argued that because it was a small company, it couldn't afford the $5.7 million for advanced air bags that change their deploying force based on the weight of the passenger. Without the exemption, Pagani said it would take until 2015 to make the Huayra comply. And it vowed that the carbon-fiber Huayra would meet or exceed every other U.S. safety rule — including traditional air bags.

Federal officials have granted several similar exemptions in previous years, including for the Tesla Roadster, but in the past year have signaled that the free passes are over. NHTSA said despite Pagani's carping, the company's own forecasts say it will earn about $7.5 million between 2011 and 2014 even if it can't sell cars in the United States. It also said the rest of the Huyara's safety features wouldn't make up for the lack of advanced air bags.

For a car whose name comes from an ancient South American Indian word for "wind," it's a decision that just plain blows.



it would probably be easier for Pagani to get an exemption from the children of the world in the off chance they will sit in that passenger seat than it would be to make a car to please the NHTSA. Let me get it kicked off:

We the children of the world, do not hold Pagani Motor corporation or their subsidiaries responsible for injury resulting from a forceful airbag deployment while as a passenger in the Huayra. Confident that the scenario where a child is ever a passenger in a Huayra, during a crash, during which the softer deployment of the airbag would have lessened our injuries is less than .00000015% likely, the children of the world wave our safety in the name of thumbing our collective noses at the nanny state. We children already have enough nannying in our lives thanks.

Distribute to the children of the world.