Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Transport Canada and the Immobilizer Debacle

Dear Readers:

Please share your experiences with us.

Here's one from a recent importer submitted November 21, 2007.

Transport Canada Boondogle

Here are the details of our experience in trying to import a 2008 Escalade.

1. Oct. 27 paid $500 deposit for the purchase of Escalade

2. Oct. 29 went to Canada Custom and got (online rating report).
BSO agent 11464 detailing exactly how I should go about this process, and precisely what my cost at the border will be.

3. Oct. 29 additionally called GM Canada (1888 467 6853) regarding the recall clearance letter. I was told the fee would be going up to $250, and additionally the Recall Letter is required after you have imported, at the time of inspection. So in my case there was no rush.

4. Based on RIV list as it existed on Oct.28, custom verification with agent #11464 on Oct 29 and recall clearance agency discussion on October 29 a wire transfer of US $57,000 was made to the Cadilac dealer who agreed to ship the truck to Seattle for delivery on or about November 12.
Everything was thereby finalized as such.

5.Browsing the Net on a fine Sunday afternoon Nov 4 I was shocked to see a changed RIV list of admissability. When I called RIV just as they opened at 4 am pacific time I was put at ease by the agent (Owen) saying since you have a bill of sales October 30th, you are OK, as long as Canada customs is OK. At 4:45 am pacific time, I was at the canada customs Huntingdon, BC, custom agents #19457 and agent #10402 gave me a form 1 and explained the process and assured me I have no problem.

5. At this time the pick up of the truck that was put on hold Sunday night November 4 was now given a go ahead, and custom agents were made aware of this.

6. November 13 as I drove in through the same Huntington border with my new truck, I was told rules have just changed again, and was shown a memo of Novermber 13 by agent BSO # 10582, and #11244. I was given a fax # and told if RIV could ok then we are OK.

7. November 13 5 pm pacific time I spoke to (Chase) RIV WHO assured me that this can be cleared up as soon as I can fax my bill of sale.

8. November 14 I called twice since no fax from RIV had been received, and spoke to agent Chase, his words "no problem no problem, letter of clearance on its way". Later at 2pm pacific time Stephane the manager through another agent adviced me "based on documentation submitted they can not provide a letter of clearance". when asked what other documents
they may need they had no answer to that question, but implied that Transport Canada will do a press release this week.

9. I feel I have been poked in the eye by RIV, Canada Customs, GM Canada by feeding me nothing but false assurances.

10. At the end of the day all my due diligence and following process got me in this hole.

11. Based on 2008 Escalade MSRP in Canada $90,000. My US cost is $60,000, do the math!!!!!!!

12. This is bureaucracy "passing the buck" at its best. GM Canada is laughing all the way to the bank. God Save this Country.


Anonymous said...

This immobilizer thing is BS - the automaker telling the gov't they don't want to play with NAFTA when it doesn't suit them. Funny how 10 yrs ago when the roles were reversed, and the US guys were buying CDN vehicles into the States - how was it dealt with - manufacturers raised CDN vehicle and parts prices but not US prices so it wasn't worthwhile any longer to do so. Now that the $ caught up & the manufacturers can't raise the cost in the US or lower it in CDN, lets make up an immobilizer spec. Heck GM has had PASS, VATS, etc for years. How about the CDN gov't grow some cajones & deal with the car guys like men. Let NAFTA actually do what they sold us on it would do.

Anonymous said...

We are ready to buy a new vhicle 25 to 30K. If we cant buy Canadian at compareble to US prices we won't buy Canadian. We will import new. If we can't import new we will import used, If we cant import used we won't buy period. Not getting ripped off!!!