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The Real Reason America Banned The Smart Crossblade
The Crossblade is a microcar from Smart Automobile Co., Ltd., a joint company created by Mercedes-Benz AG and Zhejiang Geely Holding Group. Although the tiny vehicle has all the requisite and expected car parts, it is roofless, has barely a “safety bar” for a door, and features an almost non-existent windscreen that looks more appropriate on a motorcycle than a car.
If it looks like a concept car, that's because it essentially is one: According to Jalopnik, Smart took the Crossblade to the 2001 Geneva Auto Show to show off just how far their “minimize to the max” philosophy could be taken. The public went wild — so great was the response that the carmaker made a limited run of 2,000 units a year later.
Unfortunately, the Crossblade was banned in the United States due to obvious safety features manufacturers failed to include in their designs. For instance, the windshield was made from plexiglass rather than safety glass, and wasn’t nearly high enough to deflect incoming bugs or debris, so things hitting occupants square in the face, head, or neck was a genuine concern.