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huh? ;)

Bear in mind, the rules that need passed are from DOT- crash and various systems, and EPA- emissions. If either one has not done the proper testing and paperwork, it's not legal.

And a car that passes some lame state inspection does not mean that either of the DOT or EPA process has been done correctly. If you think this is some kind of protectionism- ok, it is. But it's just like the EU cert, and is better that some of the EU individual countries (Italy being most obvious).

Eric
 
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at one time getting a non conforming car to pass EPA standards was as easy as converting to propane, or adding another brand of EGR and other componets. Granted things are both more complicated and simplier? a result of ECU's, but meeting EPA standards for a nonconforming car can be both easy, and impossible, Easy in that it can be made to pass the standards, impossible because it is done with parts not made by that Auto maker. If brand X does make cars for this market, then the parts don't exist and even if brand Y parts work, it's not legal under the new "catch 22" OEM parts interpratation, and this isn't an oversite. Why do you think Bobcor's plan is to have the factory do the mods, rather than do it themselves. Even cars with the right papers (EPA and DOT) are in trouble at this time. This is not at the state level, it is protectionism, but retroactive? that's just lame.
 

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Ok, I think I see what your point was.

How is it retroactive? If the car didn't pass in year X, how does it pass now? The laws started in '68, anything before that can be imported freely.

Making a non conforming car pass may seem easy, but it isn't. Cars currently brought in as new models must pass their emissions at 120,000 miles, plus they must have proper OBD to prove that they pass as 120k miles, and you have to proove that both are possible. While the EU does have Stage III and IV, as well as EOBD, they are not the same. The European emission test is much easier to pass than the US one- which is why for small volumes, the EU will accept CARB certifications, but none of the US will accept any EU certification.

Part of the warrantee is so that a manufacturer will supply parts as well as fix the cars that start failing tests early on- this is the reason new cars have 80k mile emission warrantees. So there must be some type of OEM to support the car- which is why I think Autodelta started in the first place, as Alfa Romeo/ Fiat had no interest in brining the cars over at the moment.

I don't know much about the DOT process, but emissions, that I know about...

Eric
 
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it is not the standards that have changed and been made retroactive, but the OEM part, Prior to the Bush appointed Bureacrats the system's orgin wasn't an issue, only that it conformed to the current EPA standards, Ferrari never produced a propane powered car, but Amerispec brought a few in and some cars were legally imported under those rules, and some with systems that were "borrowed" from another brand, and they still pass the emission standards that were in effect at the time they were certified. But once the Oem interpetaion was applied, they are now in violation, they still will pass the emission tests, but not the visual test. if a car was legally passed on Monday, by Mondays standards and the Feds decided on Weds "oh they should be OEM parts", then on Fri they look thru the books and decide that "well these cars don't conform", that's retroactive, and wrong, and the car certified on Monday doesn't grandfather in because no rules were changed, just the way the new bureacrats read them, It doesn't make any more sense than the NAPA contributions to the 2000 Pres. campaign.
 

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If you didn't mention Ferrari, it would make me really mad.

But if it's only Ferrari that you have heard about on this issue, that may be a different problem. For some reason, Ferrari has recently heavily cracked down on ilegal imports of their cars. Strange- but they will fight any "gray" market car they find, to the point of not supporting any that go to a Ferrari dealership. So it's very possible that Ferrari stepped in to have this law enfocorced where it's not normally done.

But if the laws were changed mid stream- yea, that does suck. California tried to make a basic emission law for pre-'68 cars a few years ago. Thankfully, they couldn't- but that can't be legal...

The odd thing- if I changed some parts on my new Ford with something I bought at NAPA, it is legal, and Ford must still honor the warrantee. Strange how laws can be enforced as seen needed... :rolleyes:

Eric
 
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the Ferrari's in question were Boxers, so it's been awhile, and locally a specailist was fitting early 70's Italian exotics with propane, and of course putting all the origanal parts in the trunk, making it easy to retrofit, but the tanks weth bad real quick (don't Ask me how I know) and a Morgan importer was selling propane plus 8's but that was some time ago. Import laws and rules have changed since then, but the OEM part was recent, as was the closing of the exemption's for collector cars, which may have made sense, but the OEM part was just a way of stopping importation of cars with no dealer network. Probably just protecting domestic makers and suppliers, but making it retroactive is just wrong.
 

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Autodelta Again

The website for Autodelta USA is www.autodeltausa.com (it's under construction though at the moment)
As for the cars which were seized in the US, they are all in the hands of their owners IN THE STATES . They drive their cars as track use only. As for the fact of ever selling these cars to clients, the clients bought these cars from individuals who knew that we were still working on homologating these cars. However these are wonderful cars and the target prices for these cars was around the mid 40's, not 65k.
 

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I doubt that Autodeltausa's troubles stem from having failed to use factory parts, if in fact that was even an issue. As I recall, they imported the Spider/GTV, the 166 and possibly the 156. Each of those models would have had to have gone through extensive DOT-mandated crash testing. As an example, Motorex, which has imported Nissan Skylines and GT-Rs into the U.S., wasted two GT-Rs to obtain the necessary DOT safety certification. Did Autodeltausa put those Alfa models through such tests? They would have had to invest substantial sums of money to crash each model, meaning that they would have had to be able to justify such investments by importing those cars in volume and advertising their availability in an aggressive manner. Judging by the relative few units of each model that Autodeltausa imported, and the dearth of advertising in places frequented by Alfisti, I find it highly doubtful that they did such testing. Since they've now taken the trouble to post on this Board, maybe they can prove me wrong.
 

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DOT compliance is a big deal. To give some perspective, there is a company who will run all of the safety tests for a new vehicle for you for about $3 million. That does not include all of the cars and parts that have to be destroyed in those tests. Also, that is only the cost to run the tests and it does not include any design, engineering or manufacturing costs to meet those test requirements. In some ways, US requirements are more stringent than EU, but in most ways they are just different -- apples and oranges. Most of the EU stuff simply doesn't apply.

DOT compliance is an expensive hurdle. Any manufacturer attempting to sell cars in the US would need to be confident that they will sell a substantial number of vehicles to justify the cost.
 

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For everyone's reference:

Metro car dealers charged with bad imports
By Craig Boerner, [email protected]
July 11, 2003

A father and son who own and operate a local car dealership were arrested Thursday by agents from the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on federal charges of illegally importing Italian-made Alfa Romeo sports cars.

The cars, which did not meet federal safety and air quality standards, have not been built for the United States market since 1995.

Carlo Giordano, 66, and his son, Alessandro Giordano, 25, own and operate Autodelta USA, Inc., based in Nashville but would travel to Europe to purchase the cars and then make false statements that the vehicles were legal in the United States, according to the indictment.

Autodelta illegally imported over 20 Alfa Romeo automobiles into the United States, according to the ICE.

The Giordanos were indicted July 2 in Santa Ana, Cal., accused of seven counts of wire fraud and three counts of making false statements in documents required by the Clean Air Act.

It is the first time in California that federal charges have been brought against defendants accused of illegally importing foreign cars.

The Giordanos allegedly covered or replaced Alfa Romeo vehicle identification numbers, insignias and other markings with Autodelta versions.

The Giordanos made their initial court appearance Thursday in Nashville and the Justice Department is seeking their removal to California to face charges in the indictment.
 

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canguro said:
I doubt that Autodeltausa's troubles stem from having failed to use factory parts, if in fact that was even an issue. As I recall, they imported the Spider/GTV, the 166 and possibly the 156. Each of those models would have had to have gone through extensive DOT-mandated crash testing. As an example, Motorex, which has imported Nissan Skylines and GT-Rs into the U.S., wasted two GT-Rs to obtain the necessary DOT safety certification. Did Autodeltausa put those Alfa models through such tests? They would have had to invest substantial sums of money to crash each model, meaning that they would have had to be able to justify such investments by importing those cars in volume and advertising their availability in an aggressive manner. Judging by the relative few units of each model that Autodeltausa imported, and the dearth of advertising in places frequented by Alfisti, I find it highly doubtful that they did such testing. Since they've now taken the trouble to post on this Board, maybe they can prove me wrong.
The crash tests were all done and the data was handed over to the Department of Transportation. Yes the advertising was a little under par but then again, we were never given a chance to finish homologating the cars. We had and still have the full marketing campaign ready to go once the homologation was to have been completed.
 

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Also for reference:
http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/cac/pr2003/102.html

Thom Mrozek, Public Affairs Officer
(213) 894-6947
[email protected]

July 10, 2003

TENNESSEE COMPANY, TWO NASHVILLE RESIDENTS

INDICTED IN CALIFORNIA FOR VIOLATING CLEAN AIR ACT

BY ILLEGALLY IMPORTING ITALIAN SPORTS CARS



A father and son from Nashville were arrested this morning on federal charges of illegally importing Italian-made Alfa Romeo sports cars that did not meet federal safety and air quality standards.

The two men were arrested without incident after being indicted last week on charges of defrauding the government by, among other things, making false statements that the vehicles were legal in the United States. It is the first time in California that federal charges have been brought against defendants accused of illegally importing foreign cars.

On July 2, a federal grand jury in Santa Ana indicted three defendants:

H Autodelta USA, Inc., which is based in Nashville;

H Carlo Giordano, 66, the owner and president of Autodelta; and his son,

H Alessandro Giordano, 25, the manager of operations at Autodelta.

The indictment alleges a conspiracy to defraud the United States, specifically the Environmental Protection Agency, the United States Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The indictment also accuses the three defendants of seven counts of wire fraud and three counts of making false statements in documents required by the Clean Air Act.

According to the indictment, the Giordanos would travel to Europe where they would purchase Alfa Romeos from European dealers. Alfa Romeos have not been built for the United States market since 1995, and the cars lack the safety and emission control equipment needed to operate them in the United States.

The Giordanos illegally imported the vehicles into the United States by making a variety of false statements and false representations on forms they were required to submit to the EPA, CBP, and the NHTSA. Those false statements included representations that the cars were for temporary personal use, were not for resale, and each were worth approximately $18,750. The Giordanos then sold or offered for sale some of the same cars within a month of importation for more than $41,000.

The Giordanos allegedly operated their fraud by covering over or replacing the Alfa Romeo vehicle identification numbers, insignias and other markings with Autodelta versions. They then attempted to selling the cars as vehicles safe to operate on domestic roads and as vehicles with appropriate emissions controls, which they were not.

Three of what are believed to be about two dozen vehicles illegally imported into the United States were either sold or offered for sale in Orange County, California.

The Giordanos are expected to make an initial court appearance today in United States District court in Nashville. The Justice Department will seek their removal to the Central District of California to face the charges in the indictment.

An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

If convicted, the Giordanos each face a maximum possible penalty of five years in prison for each of the 11 counts in the indictment. Autodelta could be sentenced to pay fines totaling more than $5 million.

This case was investigated jointly by special agents from the Pasadena office of EPA’s Criminal Investigations Division and the Orange County office of the Bureau of Customs and Immigration Enforcement.

Release No. 02-102
 

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The indictment was a conspiracy set up by the interests which a certain company has with the US Gov.
Sure the cars weren't fully compliant yet. We were still in the phase of homologating them.
They really tried to indict a ham sandwich...
 

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I'm all for bringing Alfa back... legitimately. I just don't like the idea of a fellow Alfisti being stuck with a black-market car, because it could have been me.

Autodeltausa: If the cars weren't yet homologated for U.S. sale, why were they sold to the public? Why bother to spend money homologating a car for public roads when you earlier claimed that it was only intended to be used off-road? Also, what is the status of the Federal indictment?
 

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Hit an Apex said:
Why are you guys arguing with autodelta? You should be on the side of bringing Alfa back to the US!
Dude, I'd love to see Alfa back, but grey/black market is not the way to do it.
 

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autodeltausa said:
The indictment was a conspiracy set up by the interests which a certain company has with the US Gov.
Sure the cars weren't fully compliant yet. We were still in the phase of homologating them.
They really tried to indict a ham sandwich...
Just a little bit pregnant, eh?

We would all love to see Alfa return to the states, but this isn't the way to do it.
 

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I wish the Autodelta folks the best of luck fighting this. There is no logical reason to deny people the opportunity to buy these cars. Any environmental impact is minimal and probably less then most vehicles currently sold here. Sure testing may not have proven that yet that but what happened to the concept of innocent until proven guilty? Is there any evidence these cars pollute any more then a new Chevy Cobalt? I doubt it.
As for the safety issue it's a matter of personal choice. I am willing to trust that they are safe, I don't need some government test to tell me what car to buy.
 
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