In yet another case study in how cars are imported into the United States, a strange letter from McLaren makes it appear that the company could by trying to keep imported 12Cs out of the country in an effort to control supply. That, or American auto import regulations are even more absurd than you think.
Last week the law firm of Mayer Brown LLP wrote to NHTSA on behalf of McLaren Automotive in response to a request filed by J.K. Technologies to import the 2012 McLaren MP4-12C and bring them up to U.S. safety standards (FMVSS).
In the letter, the lawyers for McLaren ask for more time saying that this matter is a very complicated and technical one.
The letter goes on to say, "In McLaren's view, J.K. cannot satisfy the statutory criteria, since it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to bring nonconforming MP4 [12C] vehicles into compliance with all applicable FMVSSs."
It'll be interesting to see if the response from McLaren is a genuine concern regarding safety standards or has more to do with controlling the availability of its products and any associated pricing strategies.
What impact if any does importing cars to the U.S. have on the original brand?
Further, if an importer wants to import vehicles, should the original automaker have a required role in the process? If not required, are they obligated to provide comment specifically if it relates to a safety issue?