NHTSA grants Think temporary airbag exemption

  • 13-Aug-2009 02:48 EDT
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The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has granted electric-vehicle maker Think Technology AS a two-year exemption to certain requirements of the advanced airbag rule in Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 208. The exemption is permitted because it "would make the development or field evaluation of a low-emission vehicle easier and would not unreasonably lower the safety or impact-protection level of that vehicle," according to the NHTSA exemption document that cites as statutory basis the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act. The vehicle for which the exemption was granted, the Think City, will be equipped with working airbags that meet rules in effect prior to adoption of the "advanced airbag" rule in 2000. The exemption is effective from Feb. 1, 2010, through Jan. 31, 2012. Think sells electric vehicles in Europe, but not yet in the U.S. In March it announced its intent to establish a manufacturing plant and technical center in the U.S. In its exemption petition, the company estimated sales in the first year of the exemption at about 500 units and for the second year about 2500. Initial sales will be to pilot projects and fleets, the company says. The exemption allows for total sales of no more than 2500 in any one exemption year.

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