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Is the Tata Nano Illegal in the U.S?

The Tata Nano was the car that nobody asked for, nor wanted. However, it was just that: a car. And in actuality, it was the cheapest car in the world when it made its debut, and while that accolade alone should have been enough to set the world on fire, it didn’t. In fact, it wasn’t even available in the U.S. and it’s technically not even legal here.

The Tata Nano wasn’t that much better than a Power Wheels car

Tata Nano | Tata Motors

Do you remember those Power Wheels cars that kids drive around when playing in the front yard? Any of those would be safer, and probably more powerful, than the Tata Nano. Don’t believe us? Well, consider that the Nano was powered by a rear-mounted 624cc, two-cylinder engine that produced 38 horsepower and about 37 lb-ft of torque. Yes, that is insanely low and, as you can imagine, it could make it to 60 mph in roughly 30 seconds, according to CarScoops.

If you think that’s bad, then have a look at the interior. There’s no glove box, no tachometer, no power steering, and there’s not even a fuel filler door. In fact, you fill the tank through the trunk, or actually the “frunk.” But if you needed to get to rear trunk, it was impossible as the rear hatch could not be opened. It’s too bad, since the engine was located back there. And in case you’re wondering how much this luxury cruiser used to cost, then you’ll be happy to know that would only set you back about $3,000. Of course, you could likely buy any 20-year-old used car for that same amount and get a lot more for the money.

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Tata Nano | Tata Motors

The Nano was a hunk of burning… car

By now, we’re pretty sure that you were won over by the super-low price that we just mentioned and are willing to forgive the Nano for its slight drawbacks, however, keep in mind that it was never available in the U.S. and really shouldn’t be allowed in. As you can guess, safety is a massive concern considering this car had no crumple zones, airbags, or any other safety equipment to speak of. And furthermore, they would tend to catch fire.

That’s right, when the Tata Nano was first produced in 2008, there were reports of many of them catching fire. No one really knew why and Tata Motors seemed to give everyone the runaround when asked about it. Although, one mechanic suggested that the fires were simply due to cheap parts and a huge flaw in the overall design of the car.

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The Nano was supposed to be an alternative to a motorcycle

Fires or no fires, the Tata Nano was actually produced as an automobile alternative to a tried-and-true motorcycle. India is very crowded and motorcycles reign supreme, however, for those who wanted four-door and some sheet metal around them, there was the Nano. Although, Tata did cut back on the use of steel, so who knows how safe this car actually was. Either way, you can’t get it here in the U.S. and we don’t think you would ever want to. After all, you would probably be better off driving a motorcycle or perhaps, a Power Wheels car.