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MGF Canada - Canadian Automobile Dealer Association (CADA) LIES!
The Canadian Automobile Dealers Association (CADA) is one of the major players attempting to change the 15 year rule. Their pamplet on right hand drive vehicles promotes a number of misleading statements and outright lies that this page will serve to counteract.
The propaganda from the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association (CADA) on this subject is highly misleading. Whilst it is true that imports of 15 year and older vehicles increased during the period of 2000 through 2007, they conveniently omitted to note that the total number of light vehicles on Canadian roads also increased by twelve percent during that period. The fact is that imports of 15 year rule vehicles were, at most, one tenth of one percent of the overall Canadian light vehicle fleet in any one year during that period; and that the trend from 2005 to 2007 was actually downwards. Furthermore, by their own estimates the percentage of over 15 imports that were right hand drive averaged a little over four percent.
Consider this.......
Imports under
15yr Rule
Total number
of light vehicles
on Canadian Roads
Increase %
of 15yr specialty
imports on
Canadian roads
2000 1085 16,642,140 0.01%
2001 2161 16,790,536 0.9% 0.01%
2002 9560 17,299,423 3.0% 0.06%
2003 11949 17,547,499 1.4% 0.07%
2004 14589 17,732,814 1.1% 0.08%
2005 17224 17,993,468 1.5% 0.10%
2006 15655 18,738,949 4.1% 0.08%
2007 13535 19,113,728 * 2.0% * 0.07%
* estimate
Thus, over 15 imports and those that are RHD in particular account for a minuscule presence on Canadian roads, and are likely to remain so because they typically only appeal to a niche market of enthusiasts with a desire for something a little different. Whilst it can be argued that vehicles with a drive side contrary to the norm for a given country might provide less than optimal visibility in certain situations, in countries such as Great Britain and Japan significant numbers of LHD vehicles coexist happily with the majority of RHD vehicles on those nations roads and neither country differentiates between LHD & RHD vehicles when compiling accident statistics.

CADA's statement: "Swedish traffic fatalities declined signifcantly after the changeover" (in reference to that countries 1967 switchover to right side traffic), also does not tell the whole story. CADA failed to also mention that: "some of the decrease was attributed to a reduction in speed limits by 10 km/h for some time after the switch. The accident rate rose back to its original level within two years".

CADA further states, in error, that RHD vehicles are banned under Canadian safety standards. There is, to my knowledge, no specific FMVSS or CMVSS (being a near carbon copy of FMVSS) relating to steering side. The same page of CADA's pamphlet also begins with the rather ridiculous inference that RHD vehicles pollute more so than LHD ones! Thirdly, CADA's continual assertion that specialty vehicles are imported "under a loop-hole" is wrong. The law is very specific about what is allowed versus what is not.

CADA also refers to the Transport Canada study concerning the fatality rate of older vehicles compared to newer ones. The statistical flaws in this study are well documented by the IVOAC. To summarise IVOAC's analysis: "during the time period between 2000 and 2003, there were 2,490,619 collisions on Canadian roads. Of those, only 47 involved imported vehicles". IVOAC therefore: "fails to see how eliminating imported vehicles which are involved in (although not necessarily responsible for) less than 0.002% of all collisions would increase safety on Canada's roads in any significant fashion".

So, it would appear that all these imports which CADA deem to be such a blight on Canadian society are in fact quite the opposite because despite having a 0.1% presence on Canada's roads they account for 0.002% of collisions. How do you explain that one, CADA?

CADA's assertion that these imports are unsafe and environmentally detrimental is equally false. There is no longer a wide disparity between the safety & emission standards of North American vehicles and those from other regions such as Europe. In addition, these imports tend to come from gentler climates, many of which have mandatory annual inspections of vehicle condition. Plus, given the cost of transport it only makes sense to seek out the best examples one can find. These factors contribute to the average over 15 import likely being in far better mechanical condition than its Canadian counterpart.

Therefore, the only threat to safety that this niche vehicle market presents is to the status quo of the tightly controlled, monopolistic marketplace that CADA members enjoy. Nonetheless, it appears that CADA is attempting to use their lobbying clout to destroy small independent businesses catering to this niche market. Consider this..... CADA's statement that: "the United States has a 25 year threshold..........the result of careful considerations of the individual and collective rights of thier citizens" is nonsense. The freedom of Americans to import specialty vehicles was halted in 1988 as a result of intense government lobbying by Mercedes Benz.

These actions by the CADA are reprehensible and are likely motivated by corporate greed not safety. It would appear that they are paranoid that a niche vehicle industry will cut into the profits of their members. Greed, pure and simple.