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Aston Martin Gets Temporary Exemption From New NHTSA Safety Rules

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 10/31/2014 Karla Sanchez
2013 Aston Martin DB9 Coupe front three quarter motion© Provided by MotorTrend 2013 Aston Martin DB9 Coupe front three quarter motion

Aston Martin has been exempted from adhering to new U.S. safety rules that would have required it to stop selling certain models in the 'States, one if it's most important markets.

The British automaker applied for a temporary exemption from new side-impact federal safety standards back in March, arguing that not selling its cars in the U.S. would cause "substantial economic hardship." The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration just recently announced its decision, giving the automaker more time to comply with the new standards, and temporarily allowing it to keep selling its luxury vehicles in the U.S. The NHTSA reached this decision because it claimed the low-volume manufacturer "has tried in good faith to comply with the standard." In return, Aston must display labels on each exempted vehicle to warn customers that it doesn't comply with the new NHTSA pole test.

2015 Aston Martin Vantage S front right view screen grab© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Aston Martin Vantage S front right view screen grab

With that, labels will be affixed to DB9 coupes and convertibles produced from September 1, 2015 until August 31, 2016; Vantage coupes produced from September 1, 2014 through August 31, 2017; and Vantage convertibles produced from September 1, 2015 through August 31, 2017. Reuters reports that if the automaker wasn't granted exemption, Aston could have lost as many as 670 sales in three years. The exemption should give Aston time to comply with the new rules, as a replacement for the brand's aging VH platform should be well underway.

2014 aston martin DB9 convertible© Provided by MotorTrend 2014 aston martin DB9 convertible

Lotus was another British automaker that was previously granted an exception by the NHTSA, but because it expired, the Elise and Exige are no longer sold here. Those two models were dropped from the American market after the expiration of an exemption on modern, dual-stage airbags.

Source: Reuters, NHTSA

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