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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am having great difficulty finding a 2017 453 manual with options in America. I was wondering if anyone ever bought overseas and imported and if so, what was the process and cost? Did modifications need to be made for emissions?
 

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Ok- good to know. I mean, if it is like 5k, not a huge deal and may be worth it. If like 10k, nah.
European-spec vehicles must ship through a stateside certified independent commercial importer. A list is available from the EPA.

This, however, can be an expensive process because the vehicle must also conform to EPA and DOT safety requirements and would be subject to conversion to US specification at an EPA accredited Conversion Station. This process is not only costly$$$$ but could take 3-6 months to complete.
Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Looks like I will just keep looking for one that already has the factory options. If I can find a 2017 manual, I would add the stuff I want. I have yet to find a 2017 manual—I have only seen one.
 

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I own one of the last UK 453 petrol Cabrio's made, a 1.0... 5 speed manual, and I am curious what is the extra safety, and differences you guys get on a USA spec'ed 453?

I can see from Smart leaflets that you get six airbags, and we just get four. Anything else?

If its down to compliance paperwork meeting USA standards, I can see the problem, but physically there should not be that much of a difference between a LHD European car and a USA car.

PS....I have seen the opposite situation, where I wanted a new Honda Civic Coupe MK1, only made in Ohio USA to Japanese quality control, and importing them via Honda USA to Honda Europe to the UK was held up for 6 months with meeting European compliance. It took me a year on the waiting list till I got the car. Worth the wait, It was so reliable, I had it for 10 years. My only American made car LOL :D

 

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And U.S. spec 453s have 8 air bags. I bought Euro spec headlights for my 1990 Mercedes 300E to get rid of those awful, ugly U.S. spec ones used at the time. Some of the regulation differences just don’t make sense.
 

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It is possible to do what you're looking to do, but you're looking in the wrong place. You aren't going to import a 453 from Europe anytime soon unless you have income like Jeff Bezos.

However, you can import a car from Canada! U.S. importation law has a "substantially similar" clause that allows you to import a car that's younger than 25 years old so long as it has the same equipment as the same make and model already sold here. Cars from Canada generally meet this clause because the country's car safety and emissions regulations are similar to ours. This exclusion was designed so that Canadian citizens could move to the U.S. and take their cars with them.

However, everyone from dealerships and regular people use the clause to buy cars from Canada. Most recently, some U.S. dealerships were found to be taking advantage of exchange rates by buying Audi RS6 Avants in Canada and flipping them for extra profit here.

Now, before you go off onto the Canadian equivalent of Craigslist, there is a caveat. Canadian VINs often don't show up in U.S. DMV systems and may not show up in the system of an auto parts store.

And before you pull the trigger on a Canadian car, contact an import broker here in the States. They'll guide you through the process. I had a lawyer assist me with my recent car imports. lol
 
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