If you were intrigued by the chance to buy a new Aston Martin Vantage GT for $99,900, it might be best not to wait too long. There is a slim chance that the Vantage and DB9 may not have much life left in the US because they don't meet new crash standards. Aston Martin has filed documents with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration asking that the new pole and moving barrier crash safety requirements – internally referred to as FMVSS 214 – be waived for the two models. The company is claiming "substantial economic hardship" and says that it can't afford to bring the vehicles into compliance.

We aren't talking about a huge number of vehicles here. The Rapide and Vanquish comply with the new rules, and Aston Martin predicts that it would import 670 Vantage and DB9 models into the States between September 1, 2014 and August 31, 2017. The automaker estimates it would cost around $30 million to make them compliant.

The company has indeed been in rough shape in the not-too-distant past. According to the documents, sales volume decreased by about 48 percent from a high of 7,281 units in 2007 to 3,786 vehicles in 2012. The automaker had planned to have new models ready in time so that it wouldn't need an exemption, but the global economic crisis delayed it. Interestingly, the paperwork reveals that Aston currently plans to launch a replacement for the DB9 between September 2016 and August 2017.

Aston Martin doesn't have very long for NHTSA to deliberate. The new rules go into effect for them on September 1, 2014 for hardtops, and September 1, 2015 for convertibles. While it would still be able to sell its other models here, it would certainly be a shock if it had to pull the the Vantage and DB9. Both documents are available in PDF format to download and read.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 26 Comments
      A. Harlan
      • 8 Months Ago
      what about their competitors and potential competitors, should they get the same pass regardless of volume sold or when and where built?
      Shahul X
      • 8 Months Ago
      Mercedes just needs to buy them up already... already a small stake and now they want the new 4.0 AMG V8 turbo
      johnbravo6
      • 8 Months Ago
      Ain't government great, statists? Yesterday, this car got stars and awards and kept you 'safe'. Tomorrow, not fit for driving...
      Frisky_Dingo
      • 8 Months Ago
      Just my opinion, but cars that are being built before the new standards become required should be exempt.
        Tina Dang
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Frisky_Dingo
        Absolutely.
        Eggmania
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Frisky_Dingo
        safety shouldn't be compromised because an automaker can't make ends meet
          Jefe Grande
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Eggmania
          If a consumer voluntarily purchases one fully aware of the fact that it doesn't meet the new standards why should that be illegal? People should be allowed to assume risk if they choose to do so, especially considering the fact that the risk here is already well known and not even large.
      sixsix
      • 8 Months Ago
      Low production exotics and supercars should be mostly exempt. Period.
      Jim R
      • 8 Months Ago
      If I were the one writing the rulebook, I'd allow any model with a production volume of less than 1,000 units per year to be exempt from all but the most basic Federal safety standards (must have seat belts, must have lights, horn, lights must not blind oncoming traffic)
      davebo357
      • 8 Months Ago
      I think all manufacturers ought to adhere to guildines for pedestrian impact standards, but when it comes to the safety of the occupants, if people want to drive an untested and potentially less-than-5-star safe car just let us. Make us sign a waiver at the dealership saying yeah I realize if I hit a tree at 100mph in this thing I'm a dead man now hand me the keys.
      carguy1701
      • 8 Months Ago
      So? Let them sell them.
      laguy19
      • 8 Months Ago
      If Aston Martin can't pass the safety regulations, then that's their problem. Then knew ahead of time about these regulations and still did nothing. Now they want a pass? Sorry, but no.
        Designgauge
        • 2 Months Ago
        @laguy19

        Yeah, but they met all the requirements all these past years - side impact, rollover, headlights. Now the laws change but they are still in their previous model cycle. Their cars are still much safer than cars from 10-15 years ago and those cars are all still on the road. Considering their low production volumes, I think that granting an exemption for a few years until their next model redesign sounds very reasonable.

      A. Harlan
      • 8 Months Ago
      I'm not too inclined to worry about a driver knowingly using an car that doesn't meet the safety requirements of its manufacture date...I'd be concerned more for the passengers especially if they didn't know.....the rule seems to concern a side impact measure that dates from 1981 to current 2012 updates.. it seems to me if some of their cars meet the regulations...why can't they all?
      tbird57w
      • 8 Months Ago
      what's wrong with our country? doesn't it realize who they are and that the car costs 99k! i mean really!
        Jim R
        • 8 Months Ago
        @tbird57w
        They don't care. The Bureaucracy Is King.
      rsxvue
      • 8 Months Ago
      We need worldwide standards or at least a set of standards adopted by many countries. I think Aston should be allowed the exemption especially if they passed the old standards. All because new standards were released doesn't make previously compliant cars any less safe than they were before.
    • Load More Comments