The current law in Canada allows for right-hand drive vehicles older than 15 years to be imported into the country, a loophole that allows for the importation of neat foreign iron that includes Japanese kei cars like the Suzuki Cappuccino as well as larger enthusiast cars like the Nissan Skyline. But the Canadian Automotive Dealer Association appears eager to stop the influx of these elderly RHD vehicles. The CADA claims that the cars and trucks, which the group claims are imported from Asian countries, are "dirty and unsafe." The CADA goes further by saying that the vehicles are often used for "street racing and other reckless acts," and it claims that the vehicles are 40 percent more likely to be involved in an accident. The proposed solution for these right-drive nuisances is for the Canadian government to change the antique designation to 25 years to reflect the changes made by the U.S. and Australia.

Critics suggest that the real reason these vehicles are so unpopular with the 3,300 dealers associated with the CADA is that the imported vehicles are nibbling away at their car sales. As the reasoning goes, the older RHD vehicles aren't as safe or as environmentally friendly as newer vehicles, but neither are the left-hand drive vehicles on used car lots all over the country to our north. Hit the jump to read over the CADA's official press release.

[Source: Canadian Automotive Dealer Association]
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OTTAWA, Oct. 20 /CNW/ - Today, the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association (CADA), which represents over 3,300 dealers nationwide, is calling on the federal government to close a regulatory loophole that allows thousands of dirty and unsafe right hand drive (RHD) vehicles into Canada every year.

"Recent years have seen a dramatic increase in the number of right hand drive vehicles in Canada," said Richard Gauthier, President and CEO of CADA. "These cars are imported under a regulatory loophole that allows vehicles older than 15 years of age to enter the country without complying with the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety standards or national environmental standards."

The 15-year exclusion rule for the imposition of Canada's safety and environmental standards on imported cars was introduced at a time when 15-year-old vehicles were very rare, to continue to allow antiques to be imported into Canada. It is under this loophole that all RHD vehicles currently enter Canada.

"A 15-year-old car is no longer an antique," continued Mr. Gauthier. "The vast majority of vehicles on the road today reach their 15th birthday and beyond. What's more, RHD vehicles are as much as 40 per cent more likely to be involved in an accident than traditional left hand drive cars. They are often used for street racing and other reckless acts. One was involved in a tragic accident in Ottawa this summer in which the young parents of three girls were killed."

The provinces of Quebec and Prince Edward Island have already acted to stem the tide of RHD cars on their roads. CADA is calling on the federal government to act on behalf of all Canadians to increase the threshold for the suspension of environmental and safety regulations from 15 to 25 years.

"This is a very simple fix for the federal government and would bring us into line with our trading partners," said Mr. Gauthier. "America and Australia have moved to 25 years and until Canada does the same, it will continue to be a dumping ground for dirty, old and unsafe RHD vehicles from Asian countries. Keeping them out of Canada is the right thing to do for the safety of Canadian drivers and for the quality of the air that we breathe."

The Canadian Automobile Dealers Association (CADA) is the national association for franchised automobile dealerships that sell new cars and trucks. Our 3,300 dealers represent a key sector of Canada's economy. Through our dealers, we are represented in nearly every community and those dealers collectively employ over 130,000 people across the country.

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