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Pagani is at it again

  #1  
Old 09-17-2013, 08:27 PM
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Pagani is at it again

Recently we saw the debut of the first U.S.-spec Pagani Huayra. To my eyes, this was the prettiest Huayra yet, with its bare carbon bodywork, red interior and updated chin spoiler. However, it was the U.S.-mandated front side marker lights and pasenger airbag that got a lot of attention; not all Pagani fans were happy with the job that was done incorporating these items into the Huyara's esthetics. Regardless, the big news was that the Huayra was finally here!

Myself and a few other hardcore exotic spotters were eagerly awaiting the first sighting of this car's VIN. I'd been keeping an eye on this car's thread over on Pagani-Zonda.net waiting for a chance to confirm this car. Last week finally a picture was posted with a visible VIN: ZA9H11UAXDF76058, Model Year 2013, clearly a unique U.S. VIN for this pioneering U.S. Pagani.

So I was alerted to the thread again today when another picture was posted of this car's other data plate, the one mandated by the U.S. NHTSA, that must be attached to the door jamb area. This plate contains the VIN (again), as well as build date and GVWR information. Also required is a manufacturer's statement that the vehicle conforms to all U.S. regulations, and if not, which ones for which it has exemptions (see first image below).

The data plate clearly states that the car to which it is attached has an exemption from the Advanced Air Bag Reguirements of FMVSS No. 208. The only problem with this statement is that Pagani does not actually have any exemption to these requirements. If you know your Huyara history, you know that in late 2011 the NHTSA denied Pagani's request for exemption from the "advanced" operation requirements of the Huayra's passenger airbag.

At the time Pagani said No matter, we will press on without it, and bring the Huayra to the U.S. market with a fully compliant airbag system. If this were true about the car in question, then why would the car's data plate declare that it is not compliant?

But wait, there's more... The data plate on this Huayra also states that the car in question has an exemption to certain parts of FMVSS No. 108, an exemption for which Pagani has never applied.

There are only a few other companies that have applied for an exemption for FMVSS 108, and one of them is Koenigsegg. Koenigsegg's exemption number for certain elements of FMVSS 208 and 108 is EX 06-10, which is odd, because that's the exact exemption number quoted on the data plate for this first U.S.-spec Huayra.

Unfortunately for Pagani these exemptions numbers are unique to each manufacturer as they are granted, and they are date coded. Many manufacturers have asked for and been granted Advanced Airbag exemptions since the requirements were first instituted. Spyker's is EX 05-02, Bugatti's is EX 06-03, Tesla's is EX 08-01, and Fisker's is EX 10-01. The first two numbers indicate the year in which the NHTSA granted the exemption.

Pagani could not possibly have an exemption from any part of FMVSS 208 that was EX 06-anything, because they did not even apply for the exemption until November of 2007!

It occurs to me that Pagani lifted the text for their NHTSA data plate in its entirety from the one that Koenigsegg affixed to their U.S.-spec CCX cars of MY2008 (see second photo below).

Understand that the NHTSA does not certify cars, the manufacturers do. They are given a set of rules to comply with. A manufacturer declares a car compliant with the rules by slapping one of these data plates to it. Doing so to a car which is not actually compliant is a distinct no-no in the eyes of the NHTSA.

So apparently Pagani assumed that by using the same label that Koenigsegg used for their U.S.-spec CCX's, that would declare their Huyaras as being U.S.-spec as well. Unfortunately that label references exemptions that Pagani does not have, using exemption numbers that have been assigned to another manufacturer altogether.

So is the Huayra U.S. legal or not? I can't say for sure but if I were the purchaser of the car that was displayed in Pebble Beach, I might make sure it stays under lock and key, lest it gets Cizeta'ed out of the country by the Feds.

Between this and the Top Gear Power Lap Tire fiasco, Pagani's course of operation is curious, at best. I'm not sure whether Pagani thinks they're being clever and just hoping no one will notice, or what.
 
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Last edited by mattjs33; 09-17-2013 at 08:30 PM.
  #2  
Old 09-17-2013, 09:38 PM
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Im not that knowledgeable on US regulations.

But clearly this car has airbags, it has a different interior than the EU models.

Also i do not understand what they would gain from this?, other than a perhaps a cheap way to fool the feds during the pebble beach show.
As future US bound huayras must be properly legal, they can't be selling illegal cars, that's like welcoming problems.

Afaik this car is sold to a customer in Canada, which surely has their own laws and regulations.

So either the plate is legit ( which it seems not to be according to your explanation) or they its illegal/temporary for the pebble beach show.

It will be interesting to see this develop.
 
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:00 PM
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Wow, I'll get some popcorn
 
  #4  
Old 09-18-2013, 10:28 AM
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Artist, I don't know what Pagani has to gain from this either.

And the issue isn't so much whether the car has a passenger airbag, but the manner in which that airbag operates. In the early 2000's the NHTSA mandated that the passenger side airbags operate in an "advanced" manner, meaning they have the ability to sense when a small person or a rear-facing infant is in that seat, and adjust their deployment accordingly so as not to cause injury.

Whether one agrees with the rule or not, it's still a rule requiring compliance, or at least an exemption from compliance. In the past these have been dispersed by the NHTSA on a case-by-case basis. Many small volume automakers have asked for and been granted these exemptions, but the NHTSA has gone on record stating that after ten years or so, they are pretty much done granting these exemptions. Pagani's request just happened to fall on the wrong side of that line, and so they must either come up with a compliant airbag system, or their cars cannot be legally imported.

Here's what's so baffling: anyone who has pondered the words "Huayra" and "airbag" in the same instance over the last two years is fully aware that Pagani's request for exemption was denied. Most particularly the NHTSA. So if you were Pagani you'd have to figure that the NHTSA would be very closely watching your efforts at compliance. So why on earth would Pagani present their first U.S.-spec car to the masses with a label saying it has an exemption to the advanced airbag regulations, when everyone knows it does not?

The NHTSA very recently made quite a show of crushing a non-U.S.-legal Land Rover Defender, to make the point that they are not going to be snowed by people trying to bring noncompliant cars into the U.S. I think Pagani had better be awfully careful how they proceed at this point, knowing that the Huayra is an extremely high profile car whose arrival is being eagerly awaited and celebrated by customers and non-customer enthusiasts alike. Like I said, if I were that first customer, I might do some careful checking before I attempted to register my Huayra.

If the car is indeed headed to Canada, then perhaps that changes some things. I'm pretty sure there are differences in Canadian vs. U.S. regulations. But still, it's not as if Pagani hasn't known for seven years that the advanced airbag rule was going to be an issue in the U.S.

The whole thing strikes me as ameturish. The content on the data plate was copied verbatim from that of a U.S.-spec Koenigsegg! If the Huayra was intended from the outset years ago to be a U.S. compliant car, shouldn't someone at Pagani be familiar with U.S. regulatory practice at least as much as I am?

I'm can't say that this was done on purpose, but we are talking about a company that commissioned a set of cheater slicks from Pirelli for the purpose of setting a fast Power Lap. Unfortunately the alternative is that they are stupid. Lets say that the airbag system in the Huayra is in fact compliant. Why then go through the trouble of engraving the statement on the data plate that it is not?

So here it is: In the same way that Pagani came out and said that the Power Lap tires were street legal, and expected everyone to just accept that, are they arrogant enough to think that the statement on the data plate will satisfy the airbag requirement? Or are they just stupid enough that they really don't know?

Either way, if I were Horatio, I would start getting more involved in what's going on at my company.
 

Last edited by mattjs33; 09-18-2013 at 10:30 AM.
  #5  
Old 09-18-2013, 03:31 PM
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Matt, can I make a suggestion, if you want an answer too your question give Pagani a call and ask. Speculating on the internet may be great way to raise your investigative profile but is likely to raise more questions than answers.

They don’t bite at Pagani and have always giving me the time when I have had another odd ball question to ask, so just pick up the phone, be polite and you will amazed at what you may find out
 
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Old 09-18-2013, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by streetrod454 View Post
Matt, can I make a suggestion, if you want an answer too your question give Pagani a call and ask. Speculating on the internet may be great way to raise your investigative profile but is likely to raise more questions than answers.

They don’t bite at Pagani and have always giving me the time when I have had another odd ball question to ask, so just pick up the phone, be polite and you will amazed at what you may find out
I wasn't looking to "raise my investigative profile". I took one look at the photo of the data plate as an enthusiast and recognized instantly that something was amiss.

And I'm actually speculating very little here. Maybe my use of the words "arrogant" and "stupid" was a little harsh, but to be honest I'm truly baffled by this.

The only possible motive I can come up with for deliberately falsifying such a data plate is that perhaps the Huayra in question is not actually compliant as is. THAT is pure speculation, of course. But even if it were true, why call attention to the issue by referencing an exemption one does not have?

Since that makes such little sense, then we're left with the possibility that the data plate was constructed in error. I spent only about 5 minutes on FederalRegister.gov and was able to determine that the exemption the data plate references could not possibly belong to Pagani. So if error is the case, we're left with the idea that with years to prepare, the person(s) responsible for the Huayra's NHTSA data plate had so little idea how to construct one that they wholly copied another company's, not realizing that the majority of the content within did not even apply to Pagani.

So I'm not really sure what we're looking at here, since both scenarios are a stretch of credulity. Perhaps my thread title is a bit too accusatory, since I'm not even sure myself whether I think there was ulterior motives.

I think you know that I was never satisfied with Pagani's response to the Power Lap tire situation, containing as it did not a shred of fact. So I will not be calling them to ask if their Huayra is U.S. legal as is, because I know what their response needs to be. If they were trying to pull a fast one (again) it's hard to fathom they would have attempted it so carelessly. But then again they made no attempt to hide the design of the Power Lap tires from photographers either.

Imagine that cluelessness would be the better choice of the two possible scenarios!

But since you're on good terms with Pagani, you can ahead and ask: Why is the NHTSA data plate attached to the Huayra in question so blatantly incorrect?
 

Last edited by mattjs33; 09-18-2013 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 09-19-2013, 04:27 AM
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Matt, I admire your tenacity on these matters and am happy to admit I have no real knowledge of the vagaries of the US certification programme. And to be honest as a resident of the UK have little interest.

But my attitude too matters like this is that your first port of call should always be the most obvious, i.e. the source. It’s always easy to throw stones from a distance, but what does that achieve. You and I are both car fans, speak to these people, build a relationship. If at some point you see something that does not appear to add up you are then in a much better position to question them about it, you are also much more likely to a straight answer.

These are just my words of advice, based on 35 years of experience. I have found it pays dividends in all sorts of unexpected ways.
 

Last edited by streetrod454; 09-19-2013 at 04:28 AM.
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Old 09-19-2013, 09:25 AM
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When a company that has previously expressed its desire to import a noncomforming car, presents its first "U.S.-spec" car with a bogus NHTSA data plate, I think even you would agree that the implications are not good.

Since you are understandably not well versed in U.S. regulatory policy, I will simplify it for you:

The data plate of this particular Huayra is in violation of U.S. federal regulations, as the information on it is false with regard to the car to which it is attached. Thus it would be illegal to sell this (or any other) Huayra in the U.S. with this data particular plate affixed.

These are not my opinions or speculations, but facts. And frankly it doesn't really matter what Pagani's explanation is.

We can assume that the eyes of the NHTSA are fixed squarely on Pagani, especially now. So one might suggest that in order to ensure that Huayras sold to U.S. customers are not subject to immediate seizure (or worse), this and all subsequent cars will need to have:

1: A properly worded NHTSA data plate

2: A fully compliant airbag system

The ironic thing is that had Pagani simply satisfied condition #1 above, likely no attention would have been paid to whether or not they have satisfied condition #2.
 
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Old 09-19-2013, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by mattjs33 View Post
When a company that has previously expressed its desire to import a noncomforming car, presents its first "U.S.-spec" car with a bogus NHTSA data plate, I think even you would agree that the implications are not good.

Since you are understandably not well versed in U.S. regulatory policy, I will simplify it for you:

The data plate of this particular Huayra is in violation of U.S. federal regulations, as the information on it is false with regard to the car to which it is attached. Thus it would be illegal to sell this (or any other) Huayra in the U.S. with this data particular plate affixed.

These are not my opinions or speculations, but facts. And frankly it doesn't really matter what Pagani's explanation is.

We can assume that the eyes of the NHTSA are fixed squarely on Pagani, especially now. So one might suggest that in order to ensure that Huayras sold to U.S. customers are not subject to immediate seizure (or worse), this and all subsequent cars will need to have:

1: A properly worded NHTSA data plate

2: A fully compliant airbag system

The ironic thing is that had Pagani simply satisfied condition #1 above, likely no attention would have been paid to whether or not they have satisfied condition #2.

I can't stand guys like this!
I'm sorry but you are simply trying too hard to become some type of investigative hero, and you are trying the wrong way.
As suggested to you already, the only way you can be sure of your claims is to pick up the phone and call pagani, what if your assumptions are wrong??? I know pagani very well and I'm confident they would not just do anything in an attempt to be sneaky. Do you understand how serious that is for Pagani, for such an important market, I simply don't believe they will just carelessly take that risk. Get your facts before we take you seriously.
If it were your company, I'm sure you would hate for anyone to do what you are trying to do without facts, without any confirmation or request for explanation from Pagani. I'm very sure you're not the President of NHTSA so you could be really wrong.
Cheers!
 

Last edited by LeatherFoot; 09-19-2013 at 10:49 AM.
  #10  
Old 09-19-2013, 11:41 AM
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Actually Pagani has already done something sneaky earlier this year. But that was just a "silly TV show" of course.

The fact is still that the data plate is wrong.

Remember that I have speculated that this could simply have been an error. But of course I cannot be sure of the reasons, so as you and Streetrod have suggested, I have sent an email off to Pagani.

In the meantime I will patiently await a repsonse. DJ, please change the thread title to something less inflammatory, such as "U.S. Huayra data plate weirdness" or something.
 

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