Importing a car into Canada - WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE what fun....

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by Disco Dave, Aug 22, 2006.

  1. Disco Dave

    Disco Dave Slightly above lurker status....

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    WARNING - tl,dr

    My car isn't exactly a muscle car, but I didn't see a section for 'grandma boats' here.

    Just as a quick bit of info for those south of the border: If you import an American made car from the US that is less than 15 years old, you have to enter it into something called the Registrar of Imported Vehicles. Basically a cash grab for the government to check three lousy little things on your car (headlights, child restraint and something with the seatbelts I think).

    One of the requirements of importing a car in this program is that all outstanding recalls be cleared. You contact your manufacturer and they issue a letter telling you that either all recalls are cleared, or that some are still active, so you can take the car to a dealership and get it handled. I contacted GM for this letter about two months ago, and they send me the letter stating that a recall is outstanding for 'New York Theft Alarms'. It only cost me $28 for the letter too :rolleyes: I take this to my local Canadian dealer, and they inform me that they have no idea what to do about it.

    Research time. I call General Motors of Canada. They are also clueless as to what to do about it. I call Cadillac of America. Again, no ideas, but they tell me to call the National Highway Traffic and safety Administration for any outstanding recall information. Of course, they have no information because it is just a god damn car alarm problem.

    Now it's time to contact the 'RIV' (Registrar thingy) and inform them that I need more time and possibly a waiver, as GM doesn't even know how to fix this. They give me an extra three weeks to 'solve the problem myself'.

    Exhausting most of my options I decide to call a dealership in New York City. Hallelujah! They know what it is and are willing to send me the information. I take my newly found information to my local dealership, and they wait two more days to imform me that they will not fix or even inspect this because it is 'A US problem and doesn't matter to us'.

    Back to the RIV. Their response - "We already GAVE you more time! We trust you will fix this and submit the paperwork!"

    @%$&*^%$@!!!

    My last resort - Call General Motors and demand that they fix my car. I tell them that it is ridiculous that they are unwilling to fix their own car, and I will not accept any other solution, as I can NOT import the car with an outstanding recall. Three days later GM calls me back. "This is a US problem and does not affect you here in Canada." I explain again that I Need to have a car free of recalls to import it. He says that it does not matter, and to call the Vintage Vehicle Department again (the people that told me about the car needing a recall fixed).

    VVS looks it up and says 'Oh, Gee! Thats a US only recall and does not matter in Canada. If you get a letter from us, we would say that there are no outstanding recalls on the car'.

    @$%^*&^%$#@!!

    So basically they just wasted several weeks of my time and almost forced me to forge a document to import this god damn boat OVER A STUPID FUCKING CAR ALARM THAT DOESN'T MATTER!!!!!

    So take this as a warning if you ever want to import a car.

    Or just take it as two precious minutes of your life pointlessly wasted. Whatever.

    In conclusion - FUCK GM!

    Thank you and good day.
     
  2. dr.zed

    dr.zed DR.ZED OT Supporter

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    A buddy of mine imported a CTS-V from the States, and didn't have any issues. Do you want me to contact him and find out if there is an easier way???
     
  3. 97venge

    97venge New Member

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    soooooooooooooooo..........what kinda car you importing?
     
  4. 91RS

    91RS If this flag offends you... you need a history les

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    I was going to ask the same question.
     
  5. CastorTroy

    CastorTroy New Member

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    Interesting conclusion considering your problem was with the Canadian process of importing.
     
  6. Disco Dave

    Disco Dave Slightly above lurker status....

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    Actually it was GM's fault for giving me a letter that stated the car had a recall, then coming back to me only after complaints and threats to simply say 'Oh, that car doesn't have any recalls if you import it here. They get cleared!'. Had they told me that six weeks earlier, I wouldn't have gone through all that pointless running back and forth.

    However as a little addendum, five days after getting the car inspected and cleared (and about three weeks after contacting them originally), some guy from the RIV contacted me and informed me that if I showed the recall was not a safety issue, then they could probably issue a waiver. So that's basically both parties giving me bullshit answers only to come back way too late and finally decide to help.

    The only thing I can take from this in the future is that if I get a letter stating a 'regional or local' recall, then I can just call back and point that out to the right person and get a new letter.


    As for the type of car, it is just one of those big-ass Fleetwoods that are just a reskinned Caprice (93). Only paid a couple hundred on Ebay, and I couldn't find one in this area for under three grand.
     
  7. TheTeflonDon

    TheTeflonDon New Member

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    How bad were the taxes and fees?
     
  8. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Sounds like the biggest problem was that you were importing an american car. Import something from Europe instead (perhaps Sweden, considering Canadian winters); I'm sure Canada, with its substantial francoform-speaking population, will let just about any Euro in the door without so much as a wary glance.

    EDIT: Hell, get a Renault Clio V6. Those little bastards are great fun.
     

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