Here’s the latest reader questions, along with my reply:
Jeff asks: A friend recently told me you could buy nice, quality cars in India and South America for much less than US built cars but that the US government won’t allow them in due to EPA guidelines? Can you confirm or deny this based on your experience?
My reply: Yes, you can buy such cars… there. But it is extremely illegal to import them here. Because they do not meet EPA emissions and DOT saaaaaaaaaaaaaafety standards. If such a vehicle is brought over and discovered, the government will seize them. There was a case fairly recently involving non-DOT/EPA compliant Land Rovers. The government literally sent SWAT teams to the homes of the people who owned them, seized and destroyed the vehicles.
Now, I can see – grudgingly – the argument in support of this stuff as regards emissions. Even if, in the grand scheme of things, the amount of pollution produced by a handful of vehicles is a functional irrelevance as regards both air quality and public health.
But the saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety argument carries no weight with me at all – because my safety is no one else’s legitimate business. If a person wishes to drive an old VW Beetle (as a for-instance) such as those made in Mexico until about 2002 – a car without air bags and which could not meet current or even recent federal bumper-impact standards – well, that is his choice to make, not mine.
But we are denied access to such vehicles precisely on this basis. Look for a rant soon on this subject.
. . .
Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!
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