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Updated Sun. Dec. 2 2007 10:23 PM ET News Staff

Transport Canada plans to make it easier for consumers to import vehicles into the country.

New safety rules had put the brakes on cross border shopping for many Canadians, but after weeks of public pressure, the government is looking to bend its own rules.

Mike Hill was lured south of the border in search of savings, but, like many Canadians, it was only after he bought his car in the U.S. that he found out a new Canadian safety rule prevented it from being registered here.

"There's a lot of people that are caught in this predicament, and quite frankly I think the average Canadian wants car prices in Canada to come down dramatically," Hill told CTV News.

As of Sept. 1, all new Canadian vehicles must have a special anti-theft device, and manufacturers say their U.S. models aren't built to this code.

Officials will now allow U.S. vehicles with anti-theft systems that don't meet Canadian code to be registered in this country.

"It's a step in the right direction, but the key thing to recognize is that it isn't passed yet," said Hill.

Many feel the move doesn't go far enough, as the government is leaving much of the regulatory part in the hands of the manufacturers.

Rob Whitfield, president of Mastergard Enterprises, makes and installs anti-theft immobilization devices which are approved by the Insurance Bureau of Canada, and until the new rule came in, they could be installed into any car.

"Over the last few weeks, there's been a lot of frustration," Whitfield said. "People were not able to put them on unless they had a letter from the manufacturer."

Whitfield is lobbying the government to give more power to consumers instead of manufacturers.

"They are still giving the manufacturer the opportunity of saying 'No, it will compromise their vehicle by having an after-market-fitted immobilizer fitted in,'" Whitfield said. "Of the hundreds and thousands of installs we've done, we've never had a compromise with any vehicle."

Over 130,000 vehicles have been imported into Canada since January.

The proposed changes will take effect Dec. 16.

With a report by CTV Calgary's Sneha Kulkarni
Soopah: WOO HOO, there is hope yet to import a US STI!!! Still unable to import US Evo's. This is good news. I think the Canadian STI will be $49K because it is fully loaded. I could buy the base STI in the US for $35K. Still need to see if the STI has an immobilizer of some type or can have one fitted with the permission of Subaru. The hitch recently was that car manufacturer's were claiming their anti-theft devices, though installed, did not meet the new Canadian requirements. Now the manufacturers will spend time finding other loop holes to block the importation.

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
and then again, prolly not:
Dec 4: Effective January 3, 2008, there will be no rebates for buyers, or bonuses or any incentives paid to dealers or salespeople on Canadian sales.
The statement says '..vehicle sales made by US dealers outside of the continental US, are discouraged. This includes exports or sales to Canada... (these) will no longer be eligible for any SoA incentive payment programs such as vehicle incentives (rebates), dealer sales volume bonuses, salesperson payouts..'.
Warranty remains the same with no change.
This means December is the last month to take advantage of all the discounts available!
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