US: Aston Martin gets sales exemption from the NHTSA image

The British luxury sports car manufacturer can breath a sigh of relief, as the US auto safety regulator has given the automaker a temporary suspension from obeying new safety rules.

According to the new dispositions, Aston Martin would have been forced to stop selling key models on one of its largest markets – the DB9 grand tourer and Vantage sports car. Both cars were not compliant to side-impact federal safety standards that came into effect since September. The British brand, famously known for being James Bond’s favourite auto choice, applied for a temporary exemption citing “substantial economic hardship,” caused by the failure to sell its models.

The NHTSA said in a statement “compliance would cause substantial economic hardship to a low volume manufacturer that has tried in good faith to comply with the standard,” and thus granted the temporary relief. The DB9 coupe is allowed to skip the rule until the end of August 2016 and the Vantage coupe gets another year. Convertible versions of both models were relieved until September 2015 but the safety regulator has also decided to extend the period for them – until the end of August 2017.

The 101-year-old carmaker has been fighting to return – it reported pre-tax losses of 25.4 million pounds ($40.6 million) last year and recently managed to find a new CEO after an eight-month hiatus – Andy Palmer, which left Infiniti to join Aston.

Via Automotive News Europe