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Old 11-25-2009, 06:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Jimny in the US

Hi! I've just moved to US, but my car didn't. Because of the love for my car and recession+bad market in my country this year, I'm planning to bring my 1.3 2008 Jimny to the US soon.
But spare parts availability is a big question for me. I've called a couple of nearby dealers, and they say that they can get spare parts only for cars to be sold in the US.
Many spare parts from the Samurai are compatible though and Jimny is a very reliable car.
Still, can anyone advise if there is a way to get the spare parts shipped from Japan, not European dealers?
Are there any fellow Jimny owners in the US?
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Old 11-25-2009, 07:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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bringing a car to the USA is a expensive task. the car will need to meet safety and emission standards. there are companies around that can help but $$$
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Old 11-25-2009, 07:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I know of the implications. This an almost new 1.3 liter car, I'm almost sure it meets all the US safety standards.
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Old 11-25-2009, 11:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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most new samurai parts that I buy are maruti parts from india. Up untill last year they were still making the Gypsy. Now that Maruti is no longer government held, I don't know if they will continue to make it... I hope they do. I'd like to see them eventually come back to the U.S. especially with that DOHC fuel injected engine.
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Old 11-26-2009, 01:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default jimny in US..

As much as I'd like to give you good news about bringing your Jimny over here to the US, I don't think it would be worth it.

The costs invloved in getting it through Customs and getting it to meet US specifications would be very high.

There are a LOT of Samurai owners in the US (myself included) who would JUMP at the opportunity to own a Jimny, but those safety standards and memories of the last time Suzuki US introduced competition to the Jeep Wrangler makes that a LONG-SHOT possibility.

Sorry.
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Old 12-05-2009, 05:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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So, you're sure that Jimny won't meet the US safety requirements? I have a friend who is a customs broker who can help me with customs clearing my vehicle.
The biggest challenge for me are the spare parts - I don't want to pay 3x price for importing them from Europe.
Of course it's cool to have a unique car, and I just love it, but common sense tells me that I won't even be able to insure it... or will be forced to pay unreasonably high.
But I'll try to check with insurance companies here in NY, though...
I couldn't find any Jimny owners in US or in Canada, even for the Japanese 0.6 Turbo version...
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Old 12-05-2009, 11:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RAWIRON View Post
So, you're sure that Jimny won't meet the US safety requirements? I have a friend who is a customs broker who can help me with customs clearing my vehicle.
The biggest challenge for me are the spare parts - I don't want to pay 3x price for importing them from Europe.
Of course it's cool to have a unique car, and I just love it, but common sense tells me that I won't even be able to insure it... or will be forced to pay unreasonably high.
But I'll try to check with insurance companies here in NY, though...
I couldn't find any Jimny owners in US or in Canada, even for the Japanese 0.6 Turbo version...
If it were possible at a reasonable price, lots of us crazy Samurai (SJ-413) Fanatics would be doing it!

My direct experience with owning a vehicle that was not purpose-built for use in the US was a 1973 Pinzgauer 710M:



Anyone who wanted one imported from Germany, Austria or Switerland could only buy a unit that was 25 years old or older as specified in a grandfather clause in the US vehicle import regulations. Mine was 26 when I bought it.

Recently, there were several companies importing Kei trucks (eg. Suzuki Carry) from Japan ranging in model years from 1988 to the late 90s. There were a few brand new Kei-type trucks that were imported from China for a while. The US government restricted their use to offroad only. In late 2008, The US government banned Kei trucks altogether. The main reason was that Kei trucks did not meet US automobile safety standards because of their construction.

BTW, Consiracy-Theorists need not stick their oar in this conversation. If Kei trucks were better-designed for for driving in the US than the Pinzgauer 710M, they would still be death-traps. Cute and offroadable as it may have been, that Pinz was one scary-handling vehicle on the Interstate. If anyone saw that episode of Top Gear where the boys were comparing vans, you saw what happened when a Suzuki Carry was driven through a slalom...

I'll happily admit that I may be comparing apples to oranges (Jimny vs Carry) in my above position, but the bottom line is that there are saftey standards in effect in the US that, based on the way us USAens drive our cars -mainly having to do with speed and power - would make it very difficult to successfully import small asian vehicles into the US.

I don't think that a Jimny has much of a chance getting through customs unless you really want to spend huge amounts of money on safety upgrades that may or may not pass the muster.

I am real sorry.

PS, I am not afraid to show myself to you all! That's me at the ripe old age of 55.
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Last edited by ack; 12-05-2009 at 11:56 PM.
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Old 12-06-2009, 01:44 AM   #8 (permalink)
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You could even stretch the comparison to the Smart car. While still apples and oranges, it's a more current example of small unsafe vehicles being imported to the U.S. It can be done, but the expense of the upgrades is ludicrous and the weight of the vehicle and loss of power due to emission restrictions has crippled the fuel economy of the vehicle. Making it an expensive, not so ecofriendly, poorer handling relative to the original non-U.S. version.

cost difference: $12,000-$24,000 U.S. dollars for european SMART car, $25,000-$30,000 U.S. dollars for an American version of the SMART car.
Fuel efficieancy difference: 46 city, 69 highway for a European SMART car, 33 city 41 highway for a U.S. version.

The U.S. version increases the top-heavieness of an already top-heavy vehicle making the U.S. version less stable but better capable to hold up in a collision. The U.S. safety tests done on the vehicle touting how safe they are were done in a test comparison with a simulated vehicle of the same size. How many people getting in a wreck with their smart car are going to be hit by another smart car? unlikely. The fact that the doors tend to blow off in roll over situations was glossed over by the argument that the vehicles Safety belt should be more than sufficient to hold the occupant in the vehicle without the door in a roll-over. My experiences in roll over situations is that arms and legs tend to find their way outside the vehicle if there are no doors or windows to keep them in. So just a little fuel for the conspiracy theorists, regarding the Large ammount of U.S. dollars invested and the U.S. Chrysler Corp having stake in the vehicle. Even if Jimny was still manufactured by GM and could be fudged through some of the safety tests, the U.S. version would be far more expensive than the $15,000 European version and much heavier and more restrictive in preformance.
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Old 12-06-2009, 06:51 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ack View Post
If it were possible at a reasonable price, lots of us crazy Samurai (SJ-413) Fanatics would be doing it!

My direct experience with owning a vehicle that was not purpose-built for use in the US was a 1973 Pinzgauer 710M:



Anyone who wanted one imported from Germany, Austria or Switerland could only buy a unit that was 25 years old or older as specified in a grandfather clause in the US vehicle import regulations. Mine was 26 when I bought it.

Recently, there were several companies importing Kei trucks (eg. Suzuki Carry) from Japan ranging in model years from 1988 to the late 90s. There were a few brand new Kei-type trucks that were imported from China for a while. The US government restricted their use to offroad only. In late 2008, The US government banned Kei trucks altogether. The main reason was that Kei trucks did not meet US automobile safety standards because of their construction.

BTW, Consiracy-Theorists need not stick their oar in this conversation. If Kei trucks were better-designed for for driving in the US than the Pinzgauer 710M, they would still be death-traps. Cute and offroadable as it may have been, that Pinz was one scary-handling vehicle on the Interstate. If anyone saw that episode of Top Gear where the boys were comparing vans, you saw what happened when a Suzuki Carry was driven through a slalom...

I'll happily admit that I may be comparing apples to oranges (Jimny vs Carry) in my above position, but the bottom line is that there are saftey standards in effect in the US that, based on the way us USAens drive our cars -mainly having to do with speed and power - would make it very difficult to successfully import small asian vehicles into the US.

I don't think that a Jimny has much of a chance getting through customs unless you really want to spend huge amounts of money on safety upgrades that may or may not pass the muster.

I am real sorry.

PS, I am not afraid to show myself to you all! That's me at the ripe old age of 55.

Good to see you Ack, you look young

I'd be surprised to know that the Jimny would pass safety tests of all European countries and Australia, but not the US. Is the US standards that much higher than Europe? I figured it is just a marketing policy by Suzuki, just like many cars in the US are never sold outside of it, such as the Toyota 4Runner and Tundra. The Former has a mechanical replica sold elsewhere, which is the Toyota Prado, but with a different shell. So safety, engine emissions, etc. etc. are all completely identical, just a stupid marketing policy that could involve custom costs.

I'm thinking Suzuki is punishing the US for the easy roll-over report by Consumer reports in the late 80s that significantly slowed down Samurai sales onwards, even after it was cleared.

Baratacus ... very informative thank you very much.

Last edited by alternator; 12-06-2009 at 07:19 AM.
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Old 12-06-2009, 12:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default importing non-approved vehicles, continued

We have had the Four-Two in the US for almost a year now. BMW went through a lot of engineering effort get that car to pass our engineering requirements for such an small car. Although they sold like hotcakes (translates to "very fast!") early on, they are not exactly clogging the highways right now. This is possibly because they retail for over $15,000.

That's a lot to pay for such a teeny-tiny car.

One thing folks have to remember - The US is not like Japan, India or other countries where either the population is large or open land is hard to come by. Everything here is big and/or far apart. Large comfortable cars and trucks are the rule not the exception. Driving something small more than 100 miles at a sitting can be very uncomfortable. Because of that, foreign automakers sell large cars here. The large imports in the US are mammoth compared to other vehicles in their originating country.

Is the US government going to allow a small import that could become a deathtrap when involved in an accident? No they will not. Further, auto manufacturers know that nothing kills a vehicle quicker than a poor safety record. The absolute Classic example of that was the Yugo.

Thus all cars, big or small, must be able to take an impact well in an acccident. Crush zones, air bags - things like that are required in New US-marketed vehicles. The Four-Two has them. I suspect that the 2008 Jimny does not since it is not designed for the US market.

Finally, take a look at this video at Ack's FAQ:

Ack's FAQ: Your 4X4 Portal To All Things Suzuki/Geo

The Samurai got it's bad name in the US not at the hands of federal safety requirements at the time. US Government reports on the Samurai's performance were classified as acceptable. It was killed off by a self-serving journalistic organization that passed itself off as a consumer watchdog.

I have a degree in journalism. I work at a TV Station that produces 48 hours of news programming every week. You would think that I would be a champion of journalism. That would be the case EXCEPT for the DESPICABLE, IMMORAL and UNETHICAL behaviour of Consumer Reports!

That's my journalistic side, NOT my Samurai owner's side speaking.
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