Can I import a v with 3rd row?

Discussion in 'Prius v Main Forum' started by rabadia, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. rabadia

    rabadia New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2012
    4
    0
    0
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    N/A
    I was so disappointed that the Prius v wouldn't have a third row in the US, but I understand the battery differences for the US that don't allow it. However, is it possible to import a vehicle from a country that has it??

    OR, is there a way to SAFELY install an aftermarket third or or rear-facing option?

    Thanks!
    Robin
     
  2. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    5,283
    3,525
    0
    Location:
    So. Texas
    Vehicle:
    Other Hybrid
    Anything is possible with the right amount of money. ;)

    How much are you willing to spend to have it EPA tested/certified? Then there's the cost of shipping from the EU or Japan and customs brokerages fees, and........
     
  3. Retchiefmcl

    Retchiefmcl New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2012
    5
    0
    0
    Location:
    Cresskill, NJ
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Five
    I think Toyota in USA wants you to buy a Highlander if you want a third row.
     
  4. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2005
    12,544
    2,113
    1
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    He'd also need likely need to do crash testing, make modifications to meet FMVSS, etc.

    There was a company Motorex (defunct?) that went thru a process to import Nissan Skyline GT-Rs but got into legal trouble. I don't know all the details as I never had any interest.

    You can get some idea what's entailed by looking at threads like Federal Law Compliant Legally Imported Nissan Skyline GT-R - MX-5 Miata Forum.
     
  5. Mike James

    Mike James Camaros and Prii go figure

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2011
    142
    35
    0
    Location:
    Lincoln, NE
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Five
    Yes, you could import Prius Alpha from outside the US or you could import all of the pieces to convert a US spec to 3 rows. The problem is it will cost you double what a normal Prius V would cost. If you need 7 passenger seating then find a vehicle with it.

    Yes, you could bolt a couple car seats in the rear but I do not think anyone will agree that is a good idea.
     
  6. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    12,172
    6,526
    2
    Location:
    Greenwood MS USA
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Three
    Importing a Motor Vehicle - CBP.gov

    Japan is left hand drive, Europe will have fewer mods: All new lights, for one.

    http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/import/graymarket_RI_list010410.pdf

    Looks like the NHTSA wants a bond equal to 150% of the worth of the vehicle, just to get it in the US, so you can start to comply with the regulations.

    Oregon is a CARB state, so once the EPA passes your car, you still have to get it through ODEQ State of Oregon: Department of Environmental Quality

    If I had to guess, you could buy a 5 passenger here and swap parts out of it to a 7 passenger car you bought in Europe and only pay 250% of the local cost. Then you could sell some unneeded parts here and some unusable parts back in Europe and make almost nothing on them.
     
  7. PRPrius

    PRPrius Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2004
    327
    198
    2
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Advanced
    There is another problem that you need to consider if you go the modification route. The issue of the battery pack would be your biggest headache. US Prius V are equipped with a ni-mh battery pack that resides in the Euro/Japanese spec Prius V third row floor area. The Prius V in those markets have a li-ion battery pack located in the center console between front passengers. That allows the third row in the back. I would be difficult to get a Euro spec V serviced at a local Toyota dealer. If you modify a US version, you won't have the necessary space for the Third row (it's already in use by our US spec battery) if you import a V (uncle Sam will make you pay for it)
     
  8. GantryG

    GantryG New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2012
    43
    2
    0
    Location:
    El Cajon, CA
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    In Japan, Toyota sells both the 5-seat and the 7-seat version- it has the Li-Ion pack for the 7-seat or the NmH battery for the 5-seat version.
    The price difference is approx. $2,700- presumably the price difference would be the Li-Ion battery upgrade (lighter, less volume), the seats, seatbelts, maybe a bigger side-curtain airbag, etc.
     
  9. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    6,723
    2,117
    45
    Location:
    North Yorkshire, UK
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    III
    Isn't protectionism great eh? :rolleyes:

    If I wanted to import a lhd second hand or even new car from America then I could and it isn't that hard, though whether it's worthwhile financially is another matter. It is classed as a personal import and the car would need an Individual Vehicle Approval certificate to confirm it complies with certain safety laws (virtually any car will pass this with minor modification). Many RHD cars from Japan are imported this way but not in numbers that would worry the manufacturers, though it could be a reason why manufacturers here offer massive 100,000 mile, 5 or 7 year warranties.

    The Individual Vehicle Approval scheme : Directgov - Motoring

    Importing and exporting a vehicle : Directgov - Motoring
     
  10. Skoorbmax

    Skoorbmax Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2010
    2,641
    263
    0
    Location:
    Western NY
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    I think most are overestimating the cost to do this. Importing to resell many as a dealer is completely different than importing for private use. The gist is the same for you, though; more money than it's worth.

    There is a company that installs third row seats on certain cars. I cannot think of it now, but it is a US based company and will do it. Whether it's worth it, as safe, etc. I have no idea. And as mentioned the battery pack issue is hard, too.

    Realistically, there is no way to have a third row Prius in the US until/unless Toyota releases one.
     
  11. Quentin

    Quentin Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    335
    85
    0
    Location:
    West Virginia
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    Why not buy a v and then buy a 5 year old CUV/minivan when you really need to carry a 7 people. It would be way more cost effective than trying to import a car.
     
  12. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2005
    12,544
    2,113
    1
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Yep. Even if it did somehow did meet all the standards, it seems that at least one would need to be sacrificed for crash tests.

    There was the story of Bill Gates and his Porsche (I don't know the details, have only heard of it). Google for bill gates porsche 959.
     
  13. chich2000

    chich2000 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2006
    33
    0
    0
    Location:
    Surprise, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Meeting the crash test standards is not really an issue. There is a Prius V that is sold in the states and structually they are the same. The biggest worry is paying the all the import fees and making sure the vehicle meets EPA/state emissions standards. Im currently in japan and I am planning on taking back two vehicles to the states when I return. My situation is totally different, but as along as there is a prius V sold in the states the crash test portion of the requirements is irrelevant.
     
  14. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2005
    12,544
    2,113
    1
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    I think there are an issue. The version w/the 3rd row that the OP wants to import has 2 extra seats and the HV battery in a totally different location.

    I will be very curious if you're able to successfully bring back JDM vehicles to the US, legally drive them here and at what cost. Hopefully, there are equivalent versions of those cars here in the US...
     
  15. tekkieRich

    tekkieRich New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2012
    16
    3
    0
    Location:
    One foot North, One South of the Mason Dixon
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    Please sell a 7 passenger Prius in the US!
     
  16. samyul

    samyul Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    60
    15
    0
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Three
    Is 3rd row seating even a good idea on the Prius v? Having driven it for the past couple of days, I can't imagine how difficult it would be to merge on the freeway with 7 people in the car. Plus, the cargo space is fairly large, but in terms of length and width, it's not even the size of a Camry.
     
  17. tanasit

    tanasit Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2012
    399
    60
    0
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Five
    The Prius V is 7.5" shorter and 1.8" narrower!
     
  18. samyul

    samyul Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    60
    15
    0
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Three
    I can't tell if you're implying that it's not a big deal or that you agree with me that it's not a good idea for 3rd row seats on the Prius v. I'm going to assume you agree with me.
     
  19. tekkieRich

    tekkieRich New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2012
    16
    3
    0
    Location:
    One foot North, One South of the Mason Dixon
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A

    Well that third row would be small. I don't think you would expect to move 7 200lbs men in the car. I would put my small children back there for short trips when I don't want to take two cars when visiting extended family. They don't weigh any different than a reasonible amount of luggage.

    A third row is a "incase I need it" option.

    Get up and go is nice, but if I have to pick I want MPG. There is no car that trades performance for decent MPG with 6 or more seats on the market.

    Tons of family out there would snap up a 7 seat Prius V if they could price it at $30k. It would sell like hot cakes.
     
  20. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    41,723
    13,262
    41
    Location:
    Canada
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Technology
    That's pretty much the case. The 3rd row is an "emergency or just in case" option. But for the rest of the time, would the owners be willing to sacrifice the loss of space (centre console box plus the two underfloor storage bins) for the 3rd row that may only be used a handful of times a year, not to mention the increased cost (I think the Li-Ion version is $2,000-$3,000 more than the similarly equipped 5-seater version).
     
Loading...