The NHTSA has notified two registered importers from Michigan, Bisbee Importing and Metro Auto Importer, that they would no longer be allowed to legally import vehicles into the United States through the Registered Importer program. According to the agency, the revocation is due to "serious and systemic violations of federal safety requirements."
The NHTSA also said that the two companies knowingly submitted false and misleading certifications of conformance for vehicles imported from Canada, as well as repeatedly failing to submit the required conformity packages. These compliance issues spanned multiple years and affected at least 29,000 vehicles for Bisbee and 2,900 vehicles for Metro Auto Importer.
"Registered importers are in positions of public trust," said Ann Carlson, NHTSA’s Acting Administrator. "These companies have the responsibility to ensure that the vehicles they bring into the country meet all US safety standards and do not pose unreasonable risk to others on the road. When registered importers abuse that trust, NHTSA will act to protect the American public."
While the revocation of their registered importer status prevents these companies from legally importing vehicles through the program, it does not absolve them of their responsibilities to ensure the safety of the vehicles they previously imported through the program.
As formerly registered importers, Bisbee Importing and Metro Auto Importer are still obligated to notify owners and remedy safety-related defects and noncompliances of the vehicles they imported. This means that they will need to take steps to address any safety issues with the vehicles they imported, which can include recalls or repairs.
The NHTSA worked closely with the Michigan Department of State and US Customs and Border Protection to investigate these companies and take action. The Michigan Department of State provided critical assistance to the investigations, including support from its field investigators, while US Customs and Border Protection was informed of the revocations.