Let’s get one thing clear off the bat, these petitions don’t matter for much. Many petitions get lip-service responses that are rolled into other petition responses. Worse, the Obama Administration routinely fails to meet its promise to answer every petition that meets their self-imposed rules and thresholds.
I personally have two petitions that met the criteria during their initial run, and haven’t been responded to in over a year already. It’s clear to me that the President probably won’t ever respond to them, either. If you like your promise, you can keep… oh, never mind.
But, any opportunity, even purely showmanship, on this issue is worth it.
There is a petition that, in a mere ten days, has already cleared half the 100,000 “required signatures” to get a commitment from the Administration to respond. And, this one is about the automotive 25 year import rule.
Back in 1988, the EPA and DOT banned importing “gray market” cars that were less than 25 years old. The exceptions are few, mainly a process costing tens of thousands of dollars to adapt the vehicle. Even then, states like California to this day do not uniformly honor the rule. California is literally at the hands of the people you talk to on that day of the week… a proposition you don’t want if you’re Mr. Joe Six Pack who has spent a good chunk of their savings on a hobby – only to be turned away at the CARB desk.
California is a different topic, I’ll tackle later… back to the feds…
The petition centers around moving the nation to a more balanced “15 year rule” – the 25 year rule is arbitrary and capacious… anyone importing a car that is more than 15 years old is doing it out of hobby – not out of trying to get a gas guzzling new car from a less-environmental country.
So, I do ask you to join me in signing the petition. The last consumerist car petition was the Tesla one, and the Administration passed the buck to the states. They can’t on this one. The President himself could voice support for legislation on this, no different than cell phone unlocking – another law popular with the public, having bi-partisan support. It has the public’s support, no less. The 25 year rule is a no brainier that needs to end.
And, just for fun, here’s my 25 year car list:
* Holden Commodore VT HSV – 1997
* BMW C1 200 – 2000
* Holden Commodore VX HSV – 2001
* Opel Speedster – 2004
* Holden Adventra – 2004
* Cadillac BLS Wagon – 2005 (Laugh with me, not at me, please!)
* Holden Commodore Wagon/Ute Bi-Fuel – 2011
* Ford Falcon G6 Bi-Fuel – 2008
* Holden Commodore Wagon/Ute VF – 2013
* Ford Territory – 2014
* Ford Falcon FG XR8 – 2015
Obviously this list is a bit Oz-weighted… I’ll be test driving these models and trimming down a bit when I trek over there late this year. Plus I would likely re-sell the older models as new ones rolled off the 25 year (15, fingers crossed) wait list.
That would leave me with about six imports (plus a scooter). Many people blow much more than that on a single new import car buy.
It’s worth noting that most of the cars above are cleaner, and greener, than equivalent models in the United States.