Originally intended to document my experience of DeLorean ownership, focus is often radical and strange, boring and obtuse.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Our Insight Passed Inspection

Aluminum doors and plastic panels require desolate parking.

It's official! Our U.S.-spec Honda Insight has officially met Canadian safety standards according to Canadian officials, and our papers were stamped - officially! A round of Yays!

Saturday morning we brought our 2006 Insight avec CVT transmission to Canadian Tire for our Federal Inspection. We were very worried since some of the Canadian government's requirements were absolutely absurd, laughable, and contradictory to the Insight's entire design.

For example, the government required us to install a child seat safety-tether anchor. This requirement is ludicrous for exactly 2 reasons, the first of which is that the car already came from the manufacturer with one, and secondly, because it goes against all recommendations to put an infant in the front seat of a car with an airbag. Since the Insight is only a two-seater, common sense dictates that no child should ride in the Insight. Even the Honda manual states that no child under 12 should be riding in this car. Honda knows it's dangerous, yet the Canadian government, despite acknowledging the danger, still says it's okay, and even requires a tether anchor in place making it all the more easier, tempting even, for brainless mothers to strap in their unfortunate offspring.

What makes this tether anchor rule even more insane is that it only applies to non-convertible cars. Yes, that's right. We Canadians are allowed to endanger the life of our young 'uns in a convertible, but not in a roofed car. If this car were a convertible, it would not require the child seat safety-tether anchor. Babies everywhere are allowed to go flying out of crashing convertible Saab 9-3s, Mustangs and Sebrings, but must be strapped safely in place in all other cars.

But this is moot. The anchor was already in place. Which brings me to the second point of my worry: Quebec. Another requirement was to add or replace all Airbag stickers with French ones - but only if the airbags required periodic maintenance, by a French Airbag Technician. Thankfully our Insight did not need us to check the airbag lubrication or top up the pressurized inflation tanks every 6 months, and therefore did not require the sticker change. Whew.

Finally, we were worried about our headlights. After the lil' mini-fiasco we had last week with the Daytime Running Lights modification, we were not sure if we'd pass this portion of the test. However, we did, to our immense relief.

The Canadian Tire employees, like much of the world, were unfamiliar with hybrids and did not know that all hybrid cars are exempt from Emissions tests. After a short explanation of the car, they cancelled the E-test and knocked $35 off the price of the Federal Inspection.

Paperwork in order, Suz went to the Ministry of Transportation, happily forked over about $2,000 in PST, and slapped her new Ontario plates on the Insight. The forking over of the $2,000 would not seem like a happy moment to most people, but another unique Hybrid-rule comes into play which not many people know about. The Ontario goverment reimburses all PST paid on hybrid cars as an incentive to purchase them.

Amazing. After all the backwardsness and insanity that the goverment is famous for, it's encouraging to know they've done one thing that makes sense.

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Blogger patti_cake said...

Hybrids are SO COOL but all the hoo-hah would have probably scared me away from purchasing one! Glad you got everything squared away.
I'm so glad they banisehd state vehicle inspections here in SC years ago. So.Glad.

4:36:00 PM

Blogger Chana said...

congratulations. happy day. finally, it's over and the fun starts...enjoy.

(thank you for such lovely words. you made my eyes water, i'm such a sap, lol....i'm really not very nice at all. really :) )

10:34:00 PM

Blogger redheaded said...

it's good to know that our gov't isn't the only one that makes you jump through a bunch of red-taped hoops! and it's good to know that you managed to jump through all those hoops and are ready to rock and roll in your car that is now officially safe for little ones to ride in the front seat, even tho' it would be fatal for them. most of all, it's good that you and suz had 2000 bucks to give them so they can have 2000 bucks to give back to you.

somehow, i think the re-sticking the stickers would have made it all seem worth your while. i'm sorely disappointed you didn't have the opportunity to jump through that hoop. i'm sorry martini, and suz, you've been neglected by the resticking the airbag stickers department. what a letdown.

11:00:00 AM

Blogger Martini said...

You guys are super, what else can I say?

12:39:00 PM

Blogger Ham said...

Amazing. I had no clue of the reimbursement. Not that I'm in the market to buy a vehicle, but if I was, this would be definite economic incentive.

2:02:00 PM

Blogger Rowan said...

i'm confused....you already bought the car right? So, how come you are paying pst on it now??? please explain? could be because I've never bought a car, only sold them

2:07:00 PM

Blogger Martini said...

Rowan, here's how it works:

First - we bought the car in Ohio. Since we were not residents of Ohio, they did not charge us any taxes and we filled out some tax forms.

Second - when we crossed the border with the car, we had to pay GST (and luckily did not have to pay DUTY!). We then had to fill out additional forms.

Third - When we passed our inspection, we were allowed to licence the car in Ontario. When Suz licenced the car at the Ministry of Transportation, they charged her the PST.

If you buy a used car, you pay the taxes when you licence it. If you buy a car from a dealership here, the dealership will charge the taxes.

The reimbursement thing is not very publicized. Not sure why. But there is paperwork to be done, and six to eight weeks of waiting.

3:20:00 PM


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