Apparently when you're saving the planet with an all-electric car, there's no need to kill yourself over safety. The Tesla Roadster has been granted a waiver in regards to advanced air bags by the NHTSA, since the "public interest is served by encouraging the development of fuel-efficient and alternative-fueled vehicles." Standard air bags are still included, and Tesla apparently tried to comply with the advanced requirement, but told the NHTSA that it's in the hole financially, and would have to cancel the planned sedan and "ultimately have to terminate its operations" if forced to go through with the fancy air bags. All 2008 Roadsters have been pre-sold, and Tesla is supposed to start delivering the cars in Q1 2008.

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Tesla Roadster gets out of air bag requirement for green behavior