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US-spec cars in Germany
> I will be moving from Utah to Germany and I need to ship my car (90
> quattro)...anybody know if I have to modify my cars...?
I know somebody who took a US-spec Saab 900 Turbo to Germany two years
ago. I asked him (via email) to expound. Short summary: Never
underestimate German rules and regulations.
>> you had to have it "upgraded" before you even got it out of Customs, right?
> Not exactly. I was able to take possession of the car from the shipper,
> no problemo. (Good idea to arrange insurance first.)
> In Germania they have this thing called the TUV (pronounced toof). It
> is a bi-yearly inspection. In order to register your car initially, it
> has to pass. In order to keep it registered, once registered, it has to
> So they have regulations about all sorts of things. Some of which they
> randomly applied to me. These included:
> Headlights. US style are apparently not good enough.
> Replaced at tremendous cost.
> Turn indicators. Only one bulb allowed.
> The dickheads I took my car to fixed this one problem by
> replacing all the lens assemblies. (morons, yous could have
> simply unscrewed a bulb)
[I bet they don't want you to be able to replace the removed bulb.]
> Pattern of illumination of brake lights.
> All the lights have to be in one row. On the US Saab, they are
> kind of staggered. So they didn't give me a new wiring harness,
> they just dicked the existing wires around.
> You must have a cyclops red-eye pointing backwards for use in fog, with
> an indication on the dash that it is turned on.
[My '89 80Q already has this, but of course it might not comply with
German regulations. The US-spec taillight assemblies are different
from the German ones, I believe.]
> They have to take the dash apart to put a light and a switch in.
> (Probably could have been done with an under-dash switch for $19.95.)
> And run some wires to an adapted reflector in back.
> So, it's not customs, but the registration process that is the
> problem. Remember, this is for Germany, not anywhere else in Europe.
> They also check for safety glass etc. There may indeed be random other
> things they could complain about.
> Total cost:
> DM 5,000 = US$3,125
> Probably Mel's could have done all the work for about $1,000. (If that
> much.) Figure $200 labor, the rest is these enormous chunks of glass
> that become the headlights.
> Not that I'm bitter.
[I've seen the car since the surgery, it looks great, but I wonder if
he'll be hassled by the Feds if he ever brings it back to the U.S.]