I am kind of heated over this. Pagani has done so much work to make the Huayra US legal, and has even put airbags in it for goodness sake. However, because these airbags are not “passenger weight sensing” the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has denied the car for road use in our country. Keep in mind this is a seven figure hypercar of which only a small handful are made per year. Pagani says between 6 and 12 Huayras would have been sold to American customers per year. This is not some huge production car that will affect many people at all, and exceptions have been granted for other such “special case” cars; one of which being the Tesla Roadster which has already sold more units than the amount of Paganis in existence. Clearly if they can make an exception for Tesla then is just plain hypocritical of them not to grant a much smaller company a pass as well.
The concern lies in that if a child is riding in a Pagani during a crash, that the airbag itself may kill the child. This is all fine and dandy but with just a few ever to be sold here I think that concern is a bit absurd. There are too many people in the federal government with nothing to do with their lives but ruin great things for many people.
Oh, and for the record lets talk some real safety here if they want to nitpick. The Pagani Zonda in the picture above crashed doing 200mph….. again 200mph, and both occupants were able to get out and walk away from the crash with only minor bruises. This miracle is due to the impeccable design of that Zonda alone (as you can see the cockpit is intact while the rest of the car is mangled), and the Huayra has an even better, more rigid crash design. It is impossible to argue that ANY vehicle currently certified as “5 star safe” by the US government would perform even close to as well in a 200mph crash as this Zonda, making it by far the safest car you could buy, bar none. The Huayra’s crash structure is designed off of racing cars, something which designers of normal cars cannot do because it is too expensive. To deny it entry into the US market just shows a clear ignorance and incompetence on the part of our government officials, unsurprising for anyone who has dealt with them or has been to any DMV station; that’s right, the asinine stupidity goes all the way to the top, folks.
I know this may seem a trivial thing to argue about to many of you, but my issues lie not just with this specific incident but from witnessing huge strings of ignorant incompetence in the decision making part of the Government regarding cars over many years. The Hyuara has airbags and vastly exceeds all other standards of safety, but as shown above it may actually be safer not to have any airbags. In the case of the Huayra, I am sure Pagani is working on having the ruling overturned, maybe even with some help from their wealthy and powerful potential customers. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if this decision was overturned on some sort of appeal, and I sincerely hope that it is. Still though, it is the vast stupidity of government decision makers that continues to enrage me, so this is just one more thing to tack up to my wall of disgust for them.
This article was in response to the press release on Jalopnik
Update: Pagani says the delay will only be one extra year for homologation, and that sales should start by the 2013 model year.