Friday, October 23, 2009

Strategies To Avoid BMW Fees On Vehicles Imported From The US

The following experience and advise was posted to the UCanImport blog and we have placed it here as a new post for those of you who are sitting on the fence about importing a BMW vehicle from the United States.

Please, review the information below and search this blog for other BMW posts.

If you are interested in sharing your story or joining the lawsuit against BMW, please visit this blog -

UCanImport reader post dated October 22, 2009

Guys, I want to let you know what I did to bypass BMW Canada intervention for owner who import. I can say now, that I would have taken my car for service at BMW, but now the car will NEVER.. EVER.. see a BMW dealership.

They hold you hostage. "Do these unnecessary modifications to your car that we require to make some money or you don't get your recall letter."

I just imported a BMW 5 series and here is what they told me needed to be done.

New Instrument Cluster - $1590 + $125 Programing
I said to them, why do I need a new cluster when it has KM/H on the cluster and that is OK with the RIV.

IHKA Heating Module - $1060 + $125 Programing
They told my the IHKA Module is for Canadian emissions standards... I said to them, the car already passed drive clean, it meets the standards.

Daytime Runners - $375
This is a requirement, but you'll note my costs to have this done below.

Car Inspection - $187
CASH GRAB.. This is to verify all of the VIN, which CDN Tire does with their FREE Government inspection.

Finally I am "allowed" to have the honor to pay for this letter, which is free with most car manufactures.

Grand Total with Tax: $4,477.06

Here's what I did...

Contacted Unity Auto - They supply you with the letter for $400
Went to TechMax Auto - To get my Daytime lights activated - $100

Grand Total with Tax: $500

That's almost $4,000 in savings.

The changes BMW requires are unlawful and not required by law to certify the car in Canada. Canadian Tire is the certified shop that determines the requirements + your provincial standard inspection. Which my car meets every single requirement.

I called BMW's head office and was told that there are several lawsuits pending right now due to these charges, and I'm not surprised. I've heard stories of the dealers telling people they cannot activate Daytime Runners unless the cluster is replaced which is falsifying the truth and highly illegal.

As a final note, my car is out of it's warranty period, so having BMW Canada support me is not required for myself, and now I have $4,000 to give to the indy mechanic TechMax for any repairs I need. If you do go this route and have a very new BMW with lots of warranty you're stuck the 5K way as far as I know, and I can understand the modifications and letter fees are for them to re-coupe costs they will incur fixing your car under warranty for years. But if you're importing a car that has no warranty this is the route to go IMO.

I hope that this really helps out a lot of people. I found out all of this information by doing hours of searching the net, so I wanted to add my contribution back. If you're looking for a local dealer to set up your daytime lights, just google your area and European Independent Mechanic.

UCanImport suggests the following:

1. Ask the seller to obtain the Warranty Vehicle Inquiry report from their BMW dealership in the US. This is a screen capture that also shows if any recalls are outstanding on the vehicle.

2. Submit this report to and have them review it and if okay, approve it.

3. Have the DRLs activated in the US! Folks, this is the one that gets most BMW importers. Most people are just happy to get the recall printout that they forget to ask for the DRL activation.

4. Take your vehicle to a Federal Inspection Center once you receive Form 2 from RIV and bypass BMW entirely.

This is a strategy that has been used by hundreds of UCanImport subscribers and they have successfully avoided the BMW money-grab.

And, finally, don't sit silent while these practices continue. Tell us your stories at and sign up for the lawsuit if you have been at the receiving end of these money-grabbing policies.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Import a Harley Davidson Motorcycle from the US

Request Recall Clearance Using This Form from Deeley Harley Davidson

If you are importing a Harley-Davidson motorcycle from the United States, please read and complete this form to request recall clearance information from Deeley Harley Davidson -

You may only request this information when you have a copy of the title in hand.

Before negotiating the purchase of any Harley-Davidson motorcycle in the US, please ensure that it is admissible to Canada by reviewing the Transport Canada admissibility listing.

The recall letter is required by RIV/Transport Canada before they are able to issue the Federal Inspection Form. You are able to submit this letter at any point in your importation project, i.e. before you bring the motorcycle into Canada or after.

September 2009 Vehicle Imports Almost Double January Figures

Currency parity has more Canadians looking south for vehicles

After importing 240,000 vehicles from the United States last year, Canadians are back at it after a brief respite over the last 9 months.

If you are thinking of purchasing a vehicle in the US consider the following:

1. Will the dealership in the US sell me a brand new vehicle, or will I only be able to purchase a used one?

2. Does the seller have a clear title to the vehicle or are there any encumbrances on the vehicle?

3. Am I really getting the best rate on my wire transfer payment to the seller, and how do I shop for a better exchange rate?

4. How significant are the required modifications on the vehicle and can I have them completed in the US?

Read the most recent article in the Vancouver Sun related to importing vehicles from the US. For answers to the above questions and for additional clarification on the vehicle importation process, download a copy of UCanImport's easy-to-follow vehicle importing guide.

For a list of vehicles that can be imported from the United States, please see Transport Canada's admissibility listing.

For a list of USA and Canada Border Crossing details please visit our listing information at