Our Insight Passed Inspection
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.