Middle East Market Caprices

General topics relative to the Caprice and associated vehicles. For items not fitting into other sub-sections in addition to general chat.
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2014ltdltz
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Middle East Market Caprices

Post by 2014ltdltz » Mon Feb 17, 2020 5:30 pm

So, here is a discussion topic which could have a real world benefit for those of us who like these cars:

What are the fact-based challenges of importing a 2011-2017 middle east market (let's call the "MEM") Caprice into the US? (Please, no speculation without definite facts/references.)

There are, of course, many potential aspects to the question. I am NOT focusing upon the shipping aspect, rather on the characteristics of the MEM cars which would and/or would not make them readily US market compliant.

How different from US-spec are the MEM cars? What ARE the specific differences.

To be able to import a car <25 years of age into the US, it has be able to satisfy emission and collision requirements. There is a precedent for Caprices already having completed NHTSA safety/collision testing. The imported PPVs had to satisfy that part.

1. The MEM cars are already LHD, so that would seem to be a non-issue.
2. Instrumentation is in kilometers instead of miles, but that isn't/shouldn't be a deal-breaker. Canadian market cars which come in km/hr, but otherwise conform to US standards are commonly imported into the US.
3. The engines/drivetrains in MEM cars are (I think) the same: LFX 3.6L or L77 6.0L.
4. The MEM cars have passenger restraints and airbags.

That would seem to leave two categories: emissions and exterior illumination/marker/repeater lighting.

Can anyone speak knowledgeably about how different the MEM car emissions are?
- Do they share the same hardware (e.g., catalytic converters, O2 sensors, etc.)?
- Is the engine programming/software any different?
- Different ECM?

How about exterior lighting?
- Do the MEM cars have the same exterior markers/blinkers/repeaters as US market cars?

Did I miss anything?

2014ltdltz
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Re: Middle East Market Caprices

Post by 2014ltdltz » Mon Feb 17, 2020 9:56 pm

I forgot to add: does anyone have access to a complete list of the RPO codes for the 2011-2017 Caprice production run? Some of my questions might be answered there, but maybe not entirely.

Thanks again to anyone who has constructive input!

smwalker
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Re: Middle East Market Caprices

Post by smwalker » Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:37 pm

Just some things we have come across over the years that are differences that may or may not hold up a registration.

Front bumper impact bar - Assuming the MEM's are built to the AUS standard (as they come with AU style bumpers) - The US bar was designed thicker and the bumper made to protrude farther from the body. This might be a pedestrian safety aspect as well.

Headliner head impact protection - The US headliners came with an additional 2 inches of cushioning material above the driver and passengers heads. This is a US rule for passenger head protection in roll overs.

Rear turn signals - in AU the have a second bulb for the turn signal. In the US they share with the brake light. Probably some rule about the square inches of a turn signal area.
Steve Walker
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'11 PPV 9C3 Huron White

SSpeedracer
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Re: Middle East Market Caprices

Post by SSpeedracer » Tue Feb 18, 2020 4:09 pm

Is it possible that PPV was restricted to law enforcement only because the rear seat airbag curtains are shortened and do not meet federal regulations?
2016 Caprice

smwalker
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Re: Middle East Market Caprices

Post by smwalker » Tue Feb 18, 2020 5:34 pm

SSpeedracer wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 4:09 pm
Is it possible that PPV was restricted to law enforcement only because the rear seat airbag curtains are shortened and do not meet federal regulations?
No, because they had the longer ones but most departments putting in partitions would have had to remove them anyway. So a shortened one became a good option for the patrol versions. Even if only going to the fleet market I think they still needed to meet all the regs that are in existence in the civilian market.
Steve Walker
Azusa, CA
'11 PPV 9C3 Huron White

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Mooseman
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Re: Middle East Market Caprices

Post by Mooseman » Wed Feb 19, 2020 5:37 am

The emissions compliance is the big one here. Someone asked on the GM truck forum I'm on how to import a TrailBlazer from Japan to the US. The VIN and RPO indicated that it did not meet US emissions standards and could not be imported back to the US. For some strange reason, GM would not give him anything saying that it does meet emissions standards since it is unlikely that they would have made it much different than the domestic market trucks.

Insurance is also another issue. I am living through this with my unique Caprice in Canada as the Insurance Board of Canada does not recognize its VIN. Because of this, I have to pay extra for special insurance. The Caprice had the same problem in the US the first few years when they started coming into the used vehicle market after they were retired from police service since it was not supposed to be sold initially to the public. They eventually got it sorted out but if you throw the MEM at them that may not meet NA crash standards, they might outright refuse to insure them or you'd have to purchase special insurance like me.

Seems like too much trouble and it would likely be a very niche market. Interest would likely be very limited.

Oddly enough, NA vehicles don't seem to be a problem to import into Europe.
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Mooseman
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Re: Middle East Market Caprices

Post by Mooseman » Wed Feb 19, 2020 5:51 am

As far as instrumentation is concerned, all NA vehicles have both miles and km. US vehicles have the odometer in miles and MPH however have KM/h in smaller numbers on the inside of the gauge. Conversely, Canadian vehicles are in KM and KM/h with smaller numerals in MPH. Caprices are actually kinda unique in that when you switch from one to the other, the pointers are automatically readjusted to point the desired reading as well as the odometer and illuminating either MPH or Km/h. I wouldn't be surprised if MEM Caprices also do this.
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CrashTestDummy
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Re: Middle East Market Caprices

Post by CrashTestDummy » Wed Feb 19, 2020 3:06 pm

Mooseman wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 5:37 am
<SNIP>

Oddly enough, NA vehicles don't seem to be a problem to import into Europe.
Actually, they can be. For most European countries, the MUST be 100% stock, or you'll be tasked with putting them back to stock before they are registered to use on the roads in that country. I know the German TUV is really picky about this. While there are lists of alternate-fitting parts that can be substituted, wheels, for instance, if the part number is not on that list, in spite of being the exact same fitment and/or function, it's not usable. Really weird stuff.

On another list, there's a guy who lives in Germany and imported a CTS-V and is having issues finding legal wheels so he can run winter tires on the car.
Gene Beaird,
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1995 DGGM Impala SS
1996 BBB Impala SS (11-second DD)
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