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USA: Wheego LiFe Electric Car Granted Safety Exemptions During (or For) 2012

In order to be sold in the U.S., all passenger cars must pass a long list of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards Regulations, including airbags and electric stability control.

Sometimes, usually in the case of low-volume, low-emission cars, the FMVSSR may grant a temporary exemption to the rules to allow a new car to be sold without complete compliance with the rules.

Earlier today, we learned that Wheego Electric Cars, maker of the Wheego Whip LiFe two-seat city car, has been awarded a second temporary exemption to FMVSSR rules after the first ran out on August 1, allowing it to remain on the market until December 31, 2012.

According to official documentation, the exemption to the tough FMVSSR rules is required because the tiny $32,995 Chinese-built car does not have an Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system fitted, although it does have an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) fitted.

Nor does it have airbags, although the application notes the Wheego LiFe is exempted from this particular requirement until February 11, 2013.

2011 Wheego Whip LiFe at 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show
It is worth noting that Tesla’s original Roadster, another limited-run production vehicle, was also exempted under the same scheme, enabling it to be sold in the U.S. without two-stage airbags until December 31, 2011.


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