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Discussion in 'Roadster' started by TEG, Oct 14, 2007.
article over at Autobloggreen...
What's your take on the airbag exemption in terms of delay if it isn't granted in favor of Tesla.
I also find it a little odd that Miles is so aggressive in stirring the pot here. They'd benefit from ANY EV market, especially when there is is 2/3rds cheaper than any other on the market. I haven't heard squat about Miles even being in validation testing nor in federal safety applications and the like...why piss in your own soup when that could be Miles in 3 months?
If we take Tesla's comments at face value, then failing to get the exemption would mean there is no Roadster. They would be unable to sell it without advanced airbags, and getting advanced airbags into it would be impractical in terms of the money, time and redesign work that would be required. They would have to cancel the program and give back all the deposits.
Without revenues from the Roadster, and with all the negative publicity from canceling it, they could not proceed with the White Star. Therefore, Tesla would be out of the car-making business.
I found those points raised by Miles to be "pisspoor". They are whining about ESS increasing the weight and altering the crash behaveour from that of Elise. There are other distinct crash tests to determine that and the Roadster passed them all. Every model has to pass those tests alone in the lab. Discussion at the table does not suffice.
I do not see a reason why Tesla Roadster shouldn't be granted with exemption. To me Tesla's points look even more substantiated than from some other manufacturers (Ferrari F40). If they are not, that would be a writting in the sky: politics and lobbies.
Yeah. . . I agree that the objection from Miles was both dishonest and foolishly short-sighted. If the Roadster is sunk, it would be a big setback for the whole BEV market -- including Miles's products.
Last Minute Complaints
Miles also filed their complaints on the very last day, not giving Tesla a chance to respond. I don't trust our government at all, I think they jsut might try to use this opportunity to try to kill Tesla if they think they can get away with it.
I think Miles see that Tesla is going to eventually compete against them with the Whitestar or Bluestar. They may also be worried that a bad crash of a Tesla might hurt the EV market in general.
I would think that Tesla would have a better argument than that the Elise didn't have Adv. Airbags. Ferrari doesn't have that excuse, and they got an exemption. They certainly have the money to afford the development.
Anyone know when the decision is due?
wow, I also find it crazy that Miles would go after the one company that is actually has a chance in finally making the electric car more accepted.
Perhaps we should send a "letter" to Miles telling them our point of view.
Could someone please tell me exactly what Tesla is seeking exemption from? Preferably in layman terms so I can understand it
Read here: http://www.safercar.gov/airbags/pages/FAQsAdvFrontABs.htm
Tesla Roadster has standard singlephase airbags.
For Miles to attack Tesla in this manner, their Javlon must be able to pass all federal regs...where is a model?
I don't think the consequences of NHTSA refusal to allow single-phase airbags is quite as bad as Tesla indicates; they need to demonstrate hardship which certainly influenced the wording. Unfortunately, it would definitely mean another delay and possibly another round of financing, which is still bad.
Miles' involvement is unexpected, but clearly they perceive Tesla as a major threat, and are willing to risk the reputation of EVs in general to make Tesla suffer.
It's good business sense to have a plan in case the appeal fails. There are a lot of things Tesla can do to survive this, but that's all they'd be doing--surviving. Prosperity would be elusive.
I doubt this is the only regulatory ball Tesla is busy juggling. I wonder what other drama is unfolding that we don't even know about?
-Ryan / Kardax
Full of fun quotes:-
NHTSA’s Administrator estimated as long ago as 1997 that the aggressive design of light trucks kills 2,000 additional people needlessly each year.
Another analysis found that 1,434 passenger car drivers who were killed in collisions with light trucks would have lived if they had been hit instead by a passenger car of the same weight as the light truck, even under the same crash conditions.
Please give us any updates you may have after your visit to the Green Transportation Expo tomorrow.
Mind you, I bet the guys on the Miles stand won't know what you're talking about unless you take copies of the documents
Oooo, isn't freedom of information fun!
Over here, Martin wrote the following:
This whole airbag thing is annoying...
Yes, the Roadster has dual airbags, made by Siemens. These are substantially the same as the airbags in the Lotus Elise, and have been proven in the Roadster through a series of FMVSS crash tests and sled tests.
The DOT has created a new airbag requirement for 2008 and later model years -- the so-called "smart airbag" system. This new system includes seat sensors that measure the weight and position of the passenger on the seat, and moderates the airbag firing based on measurements.
As you might imagine, such a system is quite tricky and very expensive to develop. The DOT knows this, and included in the new requirements an opportunity for smaller car companies to request an exemption from this new requirement based on financial hardship. Indeed most of the smaller car companies - including both Telsa and Lotus - have applied for this exemption.
This exemption would NOT exempt Tesla from having airbags - the airbags in the Roadster still must meet the standards that every other car had to meet up until model year 2007.
This recently became an issue when some yahoo (pick your favorite expletive) at Miles Automotive filed a petition with the DOT to deny Tesla's requested exemption. I don't think their petition will change the DOT's position, but it was picked up by some entrepid reporter at autobloggreen.
Why, you might ask, would Miles Automotive do such a thing? I think there is only one reasonable answer, and you have already guessed it...
Something worth looking into, for future models. . .
It would be interesting to see if these bags could meet the "advanced airbag" requirements with less complexity and expense.
Ferrari got an exemption...
Just needs a short bald man to complete the picture!
"The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration almost cost Ferrari $53 million in sales of its F430 Modena..."
600 Tesla Roadsters equals $60 million dollars.
Of course that's not all profit!
Twin "Fun Bags"
"“The twin bag design provides an ideal occupant protection device that reduces the load on the neck and chest, and can protect occupants with a wide range of physique.”
The saftey police will not be happy untill we have full racer protection with 5 point harness, arm restraints, Nomex and a HANS device.
Come to think of it, the HANS device might be useful with the twin bag arrangement.