Thursday, October 28, 2010

BMW Under Scrutiny in Europe

On October 26, 2010, Bloomberg Businessweek reported that Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, the world’s largest luxury-car maker, is being investigated by Swiss antitrust authorities for allegedly preventing vehicle sales in some European countries to Swiss residents.

For UCanImport readers who have been following the class-action lawsuit currently underway in Canada, this likely comes as no surprise.

To read more:

To follow the Canadian lawsuit:

If you wish to import a BMW vehicle from the US into Canada, while maintaining the warranty, be advised that BMW Canada imposes a number of punitive costs for instrument cluster modification and heater module conversions, plus a fee to receive recall clearance. To learn more, search "BMW" on the upper-left hand search box and click on the magnifying class.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Volkwagen Warranty Policy Update

Warranty May Not Be Transferred For 2009 and Newer Vehicles

Further to our posting from March 29, 2010 where we learned the VW is denying warranty coverage on newer models, we have received this letter via a UCanImport reader.

"Thank you for contacting Volkswagen. We appreciate your interest in the
warranty coverage of Volkswagen vehicles.

For US-marketed Volkswagen vehicles 2008 model year and earlier, all

applicable warranty coverage is transferred when the vehicle is
registered in Canada. For 2009-2011 US-marketed VW vehicles, there is
no warranty coverage when registered in Canada. If you need additional
assistance with warranty concerns, please contact the Customer CARE
Center at 1-800-822-8987 and an advocate will be able to help.

Thank you again for visiting We look forward to finding you

behind the steering wheel of a new Volkswagen car in the near future!"

Please note that there are many third-party warranty providers to choose from, but there are also many other manufacturers who may be more honourable to deal with.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ford Sells Volvo Unit to Chinese Company

China's largest acquisition of a foreign car maker closed yesterday with Ford selling its Volvo unit to Geely for US$1.3 billion in cash and a $200-million note.

This means that Ford is no longer providing recall information on its website and details of any outstanding recalls must be obtained through a Volvo dealership in Canada.

Note, that there will likely be a steep fee for this letter as Volvo dealerships in Canada state that certain "Volvo" modifications are required. Modifications have been known to cost close to $3,000 and include instrument cluster changes and other inspections.

Please note that these modifications are not a Transport Canada requirement but a Volvo-mandated requirement.

Read more: Ford, Geely complete deal for Volvo; Volvo now parked in China

Monday, July 26, 2010


If you are traveling through the ST-ARMAND/PHILIPSBURG border crossing in Quebec, you will have to submit your US Vehicle Export documentation in original format to the HIGHGATE SPRINGS, VERMONT border, which is the opposite port of entry to cross back to ST-ARMAND/PHILIPSBURG.

1. Drop off the original and a photocopy of the vehicle Title certificate, the Bill of Sale, and the Vehicle Export Worksheet to the main lobby at Highgate Springs where an officer will stamp your documentation.

2. Hours of vehicle export services are Monday-Friday 8 am to 4 pm. Your paperwork or your export will not be processed outside of these hours.

3. A minimum of 72 hours later (weekends and holidays DO NOT COUNT) you may cross the border with the vehicle you intend to export out of the US. Stop in again at the lobby and this time receive an export stamp from the officers.

4. Proceed to the ST-ARMAND/PHILIPSBURG CBSA office to complete the vehicle importation process for Canada, pay duty(if applicable) and taxes before heading home.

Important: Do not operate your newly purchased vehicle without insurance coverage. Purchase a temporary or full policy before you collect your vehicle. For more details on document requirements for vehicle importers visit Border Crossing Information at

Temporary Insurance Provider In US

US Insurance Provider offers Temporary Coverage for Vehicle Importers

Thanks to our UCanImport readers, we have learned that there is a major auto insurance company in the U.S. who deals with odd ball policies i.e. total 30 day coverage without regard to origin of driver’s license and other similar types of requirements often needed by vehicle importers. They are called Hallmark Insurance Group Inc and can be accessed on line or through certain insurance brokers in most states.

Most Canadian temporary insurance coverage ranges from 10-days (BC) to 2 weeks (Saskatchewan), and some Ontario companies don't like to issue temporary insurance unless the bill of sale is under 10-days or unless they've had you as a client for an extended period. However, Hallmark will offer a good 30-day policy for about US$189 and could potentially allow you to make a longer holiday of your car buying trip.

To contact Hallmark directly, use this form -

Please note that you must have some form of auto insurance before driving your newly-purchased vehicle back from the US and into Canada. Do not overlook this important step! Full importation details are provided within the UCanImport importing guide available at

We'd like to hear from you if you have had any experience with this company, so please blog your thoughts.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Minnesota Temporary Permit

How to Obtain a Minnesota 31-day Temporary Permit

If you purchase a vehicle in Minnesota you will need a temporary permit to drive it back to Canada. Minnesota has a variety of trip permits, but the one best suited to Canadian vehicle importers is the 31-Day Temporary, Non-resident

For more information visit Driver and Vehicle Services and click on Vehicle Services

Then click on Permits for details on the various types available.

Office locations can be found by choosing from the drop down list on this page Search for "Vehicles: Including Titles and Renewals" to find an office that will issue a trip permit.

For more information on how to complete a vehicle export from the United States, consult

North Dakota Trip Permit

How to Obtain a Temporary or Drive-Out Permit for North Dakota

If you purchase a vehicle in the US and have not registered it, you will require a trip permit to operate the vehicle back to Canada.

For North Dakota, please visit and click on Temporary Permits under Titling and Registration.

The fee for the permit is $5 and the permit is valid for 30 days from date of issue.

For more information on importing a motor vehicle from the US into Canada, please consult

Friday, May 7, 2010

Update for the Lewiston Border Crossing

Crossing from Buffalo, NY into Ontario

For all clients exporting a vehicle from the U.S. At the Lewiston Crossing (New York State)- DO NOT proceed to the office at 726 Exchange Street, Suite 400.

Upon entrance, you will be told that you need to go directly to the office AT THE BRIDGE. At the American side, stay to the left, and enter the American Border Offices. They will direct you to the correct department.

This will save you time, as the Exchange St. office is 15-20 minutes south of the bridge.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Ontario Trip Permits

How to apply for an Ontario Trip Permit

If you are importing a vehicle from the United States into Ontario, you will require an Ontario Trip Permit once you are back in Canada and ready to operate your vehicle to complete Federal and Provincial Inspections.

Use this link$File/SR-LV-54.pdf to access the application form for a 10-day trip permit.

The US trip permit is only valid until you are back at home and parked in your driveway.

For more information on how to successfully import a vehicle from the US into Canada visit UCanImport.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Vehicle Imports from the US Continue Upwards

Strong Loonie Drives Canadians South

The North American Automobile Trade Association reports that imports have jumped in the first quarter of 2010 with Canadians importing a total of 36,272 vehicles under the RIV program. GM and Ford vehicles led the pack with Toyota, Chrysler, Honda and Volkswagen rounding out the top 6.

If the strong dollar has you comparing vehicle prices, join the thousands of Canadians who have opted to purchase in the US and save.

Recent articles of interest: Globe & Mail and MSN Money make a good case for comparison shopping.

Still not convinced? Well, Cars Without Borders, a consumer advocacy group leading the campaign for fair prices for Canadians, has a few eye-opening examples of how Canadians continue to get duped by the manufacturers.

And if you have already imported your vehicle and had to pay manufacturer fees for recall letters and other non-Transport Canada required modifications, read about the class action law suit at

UCanImport encourages you to learn about the price differential between vehicles available in Canada and the US and to exercise your legal right to do what's best for your budget.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Nissan Voids Warranty on Brand New Vehicle Purchases

Vehicle Must Be Registered in US for Warranty Transfer

If you are thinking of importing a Nissan vehicle from the US, note the following:

1. If you purchase the vehicle brand new in the US, you MUST register it in the US, before you import it to Canada. When you import it to Canada, you are restricted from selling the vehicle for 6 months. If you sell the vehicle within 6 months, the new buyer will not get the warranty.

2. If you decide to purchase a pre-owned vehicle in the US, the vehicle must have been owned and operated for 6 months in the US. If the vehicle is pre-owned, but not owned and operated for a minimum of 6 months, the warranty will be void when the vehicle enters Canada. There is no delayed warranty activation. So, if the vehicle was owned and operated for 5 months, and you import it to Canada, Nissan will void the warranty. If the vehicle is pre-owned, and has been owned and operated for 6 months, the warranty will transfer over to Canada.

If importing a brand new vehicle that you have registered in the US or a pre-owned vehicle that has been owned and operated for a minimum of 6 months, be sure to call Nissan North America at 1-800-387-0122 to register the vehicle and hold on to any remaining warranty.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Recall Clearance for Audi Vehicles

If you are importing an Audi vehicle from the US into Canada, you will need to know if there are any recalls outstanding on your vehicle.

There are several ways to obtain this information, and we believe the first 2 are the most efficient:

1. If you are purchasing the vehicle from an Audi dealership, ask them to print off the dealer internal system report. This is usually 2-pages long.

2. If you are purchasing the vehicle from a private seller or a non-Audi dealership, visit the Audi website at and type in the VIN number for your vehicle.

3. The final way you can complete this step is by using the guidance we provided in an earlier blog posting at

We wish all importers good luck on their purchases!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Volkswagen Denies Warranty Coverage for Brand New Jetta Imports from US

UCanImport has just learned that Volkswagen is choosing not to honour warranty coverage on some brand new vehicles purchased in the US. The vehicle in question is a 2010 VW Jetta.

For those importers who are fortunate enough to find a dealership willing to sell them a brand new VW vehicle, beware that the OEM warranty may be declined.

It is uncommon to find VW dealerships who will sell new vehicles for export as most claim they are prohibited from doing so under their dealership agreement with the manufacturer. It seems very likely that this dealership's choice to sell the 2010 Jetta to a Canadian triggered a backlash from VW, who responded swiftly by stating that it will remove warranty coverage once the vehicle leaves the US. In the case of this particular importation, only the dealership was hurt as the purchaser walked away from the deal - thanks in part to their in-depth knowledge of the importation process and their capacity to research these nuances.

If you are interested in importing a VW vehicle, please research warranty coverage particularly if you are in the market for a brand-new vehicle.

There you go folks, another blow to NAFTA.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mercedes-Benz Charging for Recall Clearance Letters

UCanImport has learned that Mercedes-Benz USA is now imposing a US$350 fee to issue a previously-free recall clearance letter.

At this time, importers are advised to telephone MB USA in advance of their importation to ascertain whether this fee will be charged. The telephone number is 1-800-367-6372.

UCanImport's earlier advise on how to request a recall letter from MB USA is no longer valid to importers.

How to benefit from purchasing an MB vehicle in the US:

1. Despite this new fee, importing Mercedes-Benz vehicles from the US still offers value to the importer. Lower prices and larger inventories are available to you.

2. Purchase a Mercedes-Benz vehicle that is nearing the end of its warranty coverage and you will be free to avoid dealing with the MB dealerships in Canada. MB Canada states it cannot honour a warranty on a vehicle unless one of its dealerships in Canada have been paid to inspect and modify the vehicle. So, if you don't have to worry about a warranty, you don't have to pay them a fee for inspecting your vehicle.

3. And finally, as part of your purchase negotiations with the US seller, request an Internal System Printout off the MB system. This free printout, which shows if the vehicle is subject to any current recall campaigns, will satisfy RIV and save you the US$350.

Last, but not least, save yourself hundreds of dollars on exchanging your funds from Canadian Dollars to US Dollars. Contact CanadianForex and set up your currency account with their professional assistance. Then simply use this account to convert funds and transfer them to the US. We think the savings you experience through this institution will compensate you for the monies you may have to fork over to MB.

Thank you to our ever-vigilant subscribers who share their experiences with us.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Update to Class Action Lawsuit Against BMW and Mercedes-Benz

If you have imported a BMW or Mercedes-Benz vehicle from the United States into Canada and have had to pay fees for letters of admissibility, recall clearance and/or BMW and Mercedes-Benz mandated modifications, this update may affect you:


The Honourable Mr. Justice Sproat, Administrative Judge for Class Proceedings in Central West Region, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, has appointed a case management judge in the proceeding. The parties are moving towards the certification hearing, which will determine whether the proceeding can continue as a class action.

The claim is being put forward to represent all persons in all provinces and territories in Canada who have incurred losses as a result of the alleged conduct.


Questions and comments may be posted to this blog or e-mailed directly to Your questions and responses - if determined to be relevant to other importers - may be posted on this blog for others to review.