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Small Car Czar
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let's say that the government would allow people to import cars from other countries but you had to pay a fee that went to the DOT and EPA.

Would you do it?

How much would you pay?

Would you also waive certain rights to litigation due to the cars not meeting U.S. safety standards?

Just an interesting concept I thought up.
 

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Re: Would you pay an DOT/EPA premium to import cars?

YES. Dependin on the car id pay as much as it would take. I think the bigger question is what car would you want to import. So many choices. From Japanese turbo powered drift machines, to V8 powered Australian muscle cars...I can only dream
 

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I can't stop typing...I can't stop typing...I can'
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Re: Would you pay an DOT/EPA premium to import cars?

Would you also waive certain rights to litigation due to the cars not meeting U.S. safety standards?
See that's the thing Safety standards aren't just for the people IN the car, there for other people as well. If your in a crash or cause damage to another car, because you were driving a car that dose not meet US regulations you are opening you self up to a big law suit.

The issue with cars like the Euro focus is the fact that as they are, they were never certified for US sale, so to drive it here you would have to go through the certification process. All the lights and such have to meat "dot" regulation, meaning they have to be tested. Just because they weren't tested doesn't men they wont pass regulation, it just means they weren't tested. As for crash testing I don't think you would have to go through that, all you would need is a letter from Ford stating that the crash structure in the Euro focus is substantially similar/the same as a US speck focus. (and I think they are the same, the only difference between US and Euro focus right now is content. Of course that all is about to change soon)
 

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Small Car Czar
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Re: Would you pay an DOT/EPA premium to import cars?

Would you also waive certain rights to litigation due to the cars not meeting U.S. safety standards?
See that's the thing Safety standards aren't just for the people IN the car, there for other people as well. If your in a crash or cause damage to another car, because you were driving a car that dose not meet US regulations you are opening you self up to a big law suit.

The issue with cars like the Euro focus is the fact that as they are, they were never certified for US sale, so to drive it here you would have to go through the certification process. All the lights and such have to meat "dot" regulation, meaning they have to be tested. Just because they weren't tested doesn't men they wont pass regulation, it just means they weren't tested. As for crash testing I don't think you would have to go through that, all you would need is a letter from Ford stating that the crash structure in the Euro focus is substantially similar/the same as a US speck focus. (and I think they are the same, the only difference between US and Euro focus right now is content. Of course that all is about to change soon)
I understand certification. That's basically the whole point of my post...would you pay for an exemption from the DOT/EPA certification process?

Most things that are not DOT certified on non-US cars are things that would affect the person(s) driving in/riding in the non-US spec car. i.e. "supposedly" less protection from bumpers with less mass, etc.

Trust me, my little idea will NEVER become reality...it's just hypothetical for sake of discussion.
 

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Re: Would you pay an DOT/EPA premium to import cars?

I would pay to import an RS Focus.
 

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Re: Would you pay an DOT/EPA premium to import cars?

As far as I know Ron is right.

The main safety issue keeping cars out of the states is they dont have DOT approved 5mph bumpers. Which hardly effects the safety of others in an accident.

Primary thing is lack of OBD2 in some states and emissions
 

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Re: Would you pay an DOT/EPA premium to import cars?

How are you going to get insurance companies to insure non DOD approved cars?
 

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Re: Would you pay an DOT/EPA premium to import cars?

I would import.

10% added to the price going striaght to the DOT would be fair to me.

I never understood the safety standard issue. There are motorcycles on the road that don't have "5mph bumpers" or "side impact beams" and they can legally share the road. Why is it that certain cars that don't meet "safety" regulations in the US can't be driven here when motorcycles can and are MORE dangerous? Motorcycles might not be more dangerous to OTHER people, but they definitely are to the rider. As for issues where the car at hand is more dangerous to other people, I seriously doubt that it could be more dangerous than an 18 wheeler hitting you.

Safety regulations are a crock! Especially when there are different standards for cars, trucks, motorcycles, and so forth. Let someone buy the car they want to buy and take their own risks. Let if be a well informed risk though. I think people should know what type of crash ratings the car has so they can decide if the car is right for them.

Back on track.....Yes, I would waive certain rights to litigation due to the cars not meeting U.S. safety standards.....because the US safety standards seem like a joke. Wasn't it DOT regulations that delayed the EVO8 from coming over here sooner? The front mounted intercooler couldn't survive a 5mph impact without serious damage to it so it didn't meet standards?
 

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Re: Would you pay an DOT/EPA premium to import cars?

that'd be pretty cool, i'd definately pay to import a focus RS, an evo 8 w/ a variable center differential...and so forth
 

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Small Car Czar
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Re: Would you pay an DOT/EPA premium to import cars?

How are you going to get insurance companies to insure non DOD approved cars?
By waiving rights as I stated. Let's say that the insurance policies written on these cars would be PLPD ONLY. Or maybe PLPD + they pay for 50% of the damage to your car.

The responses I'm trying to extract are: Everyone has a car that they would love to own that they cannot. My question...at what price is it worth it/not worth it?
 

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Re: Would you pay an DOT/EPA premium to import cars?

I would pay up to a couple grand to have imported cars, maybe more depending on the car. As for non US cars and their lack of US crash requirements, let me bring something up. Here in Socal, we have ppl coming up here from Mexico all the time. They drive Ford Mondeos, VW Polos, VW Pointers, Ford Fiestas, Audi S3s, etc. Those cars are at the same risk as a US car while driving here, in regards to accidents. They can hit ppl and they can get hit. Yet they are allowed to drive here. And think about all the older cars here in the US that wouldn't have a chance at passing the current crash standards. The old air cooled VW Beetle, for example. I doubt that car would do very well, yet there are a ton out there still. I know the government has to draw the line somewhere, but I think the line should be looked at again.
 

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Small Car Czar
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Re: Would you pay an DOT/EPA premium to import cars?

The reason I bring this whole idea up is that in the grand scheme of things the number of cars that would be imported would be VERY small...and the "fee" would just be additional tax revenue for the government (something they would like
).

I don't know if it's an urban myth or not, but I had always heard that once upon a time there was a one-time, lifetime exemption that you could bring in a grey market car for personal use. I'm sure it doesn't exist now, but does anyone know if this was EVER true?
 

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Re: Would you pay an DOT/EPA premium to import cars?

I would pay 5% more on the price of the car to be able to import it
.
 
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