By on November 2, 2014


Aston Martin won a crucial exemption from the U.S. government regarding safety standards, allowing them to continue selling their line-up of sports cars in America.

By denying an exemption to Aston Martin, the government would have effectively prevented Aston Martin from selling their products in the United States market, as the cost of retrofitting or redesigning their cars to meet standards would be too expensive. In a statement released by NHTSA, the regulator declared

“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.”

According to Reuters, Aston Martin sold just 4,200 cars worldwide last year. The exemptions will continue until summer, 2017 at the latest.


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46 Comments on “Aston Martin Gets U.S. Government Exemption on Safety Standards...”

  • avatar

    So what was it exactly they needed the exemption for?

  • avatar

    It’s s1de a1r bags spam filter won’t let me write it

  • avatar

    This is warm and cuddly and all…plucky little manufacturer gets an exemption ’cause its momma’s on welfare… but how about exemptions to effing CAFE and the squash-top shapes it causes?

    Could Isuzu bring out another ’87 Trooper?

  • avatar

    Ultra luxurious carmaker is taking hand outs!!

    HA-HA!! (says little “The Simpson’s” Bully)

  • avatar

    The 2015 Mustang convertible, which pretty much looks like this, was able to incorporate the needed bags, but yet the Aston can’t?

  • avatar

    What about Lotus ?

    • 0 avatar

      …lotus is gone, all their airbag exemptions expired, although supposedly we’ll see a new federalised model next year for 2016…for what it’s worth, the elise had more than just airbag exemptions (headlights and bumpers didn’t meet federal standards either), but i haven’t read any plans to bring it back stateside; just the evora…

    • 0 avatar

      Particularly the Evora, that lost its exemption recently. I read that the Exige and its topless twin stopped being imported because the Toyota motor they both use either was going out of production or wasn’t meeting current emissions regs. Anyone know more about that?

      • 0 avatar

        Yes, that was the Toyota 2ZZ-GE (same engine as the Celica GT-S, earlier Corolla/Matrix XRSs and the Vobe GT) It couldn’t meet emissions regulations. It was a pretty cool engine, though.

        I think later Elises and Exiges used something else; a ZR variant, I think. I’m not sure why those aren’t being imported, but it might be the cost of federalizing them.

    • 0 avatar

      …and Detroit Electric. Pretty much killing their whole business model with this.

  • avatar

    Can’t they sell their Signite here. Toypta does.

  • avatar

    Ah, so if you’re special your cars don’t have to meet safety standards? Got it. Must be nice for Aston. Save a lot of cash on their 100k+ automobiles. Everyone else? Sorry, gotta meet the standards. Rules are rules, except when they’re not.

    Could we please get a list of the cars that do and do not meet safety standards?

  • avatar

    If the door sticker doesn’t require a big “Warning” statement that safety standard waivers were required to market this vehicle it should. Maybe some under the visor statements too. Then try not to be supervised when the engineering chops/funds mysteriously show up.

  • avatar

    Why is everybody so obsessed over ‘equality’ instead of fairness. You want fast fun cars to exist, this is how they do. Toyota can afford to market a car with all the necessary advancements because they have multi-billion dollar funding projects. Aston Martin has an 8% stake held by Ford & 4% held by Daimler and most likely that is in relationship to the supplies used in the car than any deep relationship.

    But keep that throbbing feeling going, maybe next you can aim it at something relevant.

    • 0 avatar

      Does Ferrari require the exemption? They’re fast fun cars that don’t sell huge volume. What about Porsche? Captive brands so it doesn’t count? You’re thinking once FCA spins Ferrari off they’ll be begging for exemptions to standards? I’d like to make sure that the girl getting into Mr. D’bag’s car has some chance of knowing that, in the interest of “fairness?” she shouldn’t expect to be as protected from an SUV or PU’s elevated bumper making contact with her head as she would be in a Fit.

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        Ferrari could apply for an exemption, but that doesn’t mean they would get it (or need it).

        I think that part of Aston’s argument was they they will be releasing a new platform around 2017 which will comply. Re-engineering the old platform for a thousand cars a year doesn’t make financial sense, and it would not materially increase the risk of injury to the US public.

        It’s good that the NHTSA listens to reason.

      • 0 avatar

        A.) Ferrari require an exemption? Maybe, they sell more cars annually and have much deeper pockets. For the number of vehicles they put on the road it really isn’t that big an issue but as heavy handle stated Aston Martin is trying to comply where I’m fairly sure Ferrari already does.

        B.) Porsche wouldn’t qualify nor would any of the others because they have massive bank rolls and Porsche sells a far higher number of overall units. Pushing around 1000 units in the US is low-volume, 911s alone are about 10x that.

        C.) FCA can spin Ferrari off as a corporate entity but because the NHTSA has no exact rule for this they could declare Ferrari still under ownership or just refuse on any ground they please. Next….

        D.) Well you’re only interested in the 1000 women who could possibly get in the accident in the Aston Martin? Maybe you should start worrying about the millions who drive around in the Toyotas, Hondas, Fords, & GM makes. It’s a minuscule number that has to be weighed. The odds of all 1000 units getting into an accident is statistically low, theoretically this exemption would amount to maybe 10 addition deaths, which are all tragic but rightfully is disclosed as public knowledge.

        You have to look at the big picture sometimes before you go raving like a lunatic. This is the same kind of argument that puts gun ownership on the block because the minuscule numbers are treated as an avoidable situation.

  • avatar

    I think safety mandates should be scaled down as the price of the car rises. At the top end, who’d miss all the dead alpha-males and wastrel oil princelings?

  • avatar

    Nice looking car. It’s kind of weird that there are millions of low budget Fords running around these days with that Aston grille.

  • avatar

    This should set a precedent for something like a kit car company to offer turn-key fully built cars with no airbags if they capped annual production @ 1000 cars. Maybe then we could get some no frills, lightweight sports coupes and RWD sedans that are comparatively cheap.

    • 0 avatar

      Not quite. They were compliant with US safety regs until this most recent change with the s-de airbags. They have the OTHER airbags, and other safety measures like traction control and pedestrian bumper heights.

  • avatar

    Come on Derek, how many times do I have to try to post a comment?

  • avatar

    Lateral airbags, yeah, that’s the ticket!

  • avatar

    Q,M, James and Moneypenny all breathed a sigh of relief.

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