In August it was revealed that Aston Martin’s DB9 and Vantage models would be on the wrong side of regulations when new side-impact federal safety standards take effect later this year, potentially leading to a sales ban. We can now confirm that no sales ban will take place as Aston Martin has been granted a temporary exemption by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The government agency acknowledged that compliance would cause substantial economic hardship to a low volume manufacturer like Aston Martin, and that the automaker has tried in good faith to comply with the standards. The standards relate to side impacts with utility poles, trees, and other narrow-fixed objects.
The dates of expiry for the exemptions are significant as they were requested by Aston Martin and hint at when the automaker’s next generation of sports cars, which will be compliant with the new standards, are scheduled to arrive on the market.
For the DB9, the exemption runs through August 2016, suggesting that its replacement will arrive around September 2016. A test mule for the vehicle, which may use the DB10 name, has already been spotted.
For the DB9 Volante convertible the exemption runs through August 2017, suggesting that the DB9 replacement’s convertible variant will arrive one year after the coupe.
The exemption for the Vantage runs through August 2017, meaning we should see the Vantage replacement around September 2017. A replacement for the Vantage Volante should arrive about a year later.