EPA Silliness

Over the last several years, we have been replacing many of the full-sized pickups we use in our campground business with mini-trucks from Japan.  They are cheaper to insure, cheaper to buy, easy to repair, and get about 60 miles to the gallon.  We typically buy them used in container-loads of six or seven, and we used to get them for less than $10,000 a container -- now they cost almost this much individually.

This year the prices have sky-rocketed, and they have been hard to find.  I finally discovered the reason.  It seems the EPA has halted their importation.  These are trucks that are from an emissions regime (in Japan) harsher than ours and that have three times the gas mileage of the trucks they are replacing.  But apparently the EPA doesn't have rules for them and doesn't know how to categorize them, and anything a bureaucrat doesn't have rules for must be illegal, right?  So now we are forced to go back to full-size pickup truck purchases until the EPA can catch up with the market.

Update: Apparently the EPA is going to review these trucks model by model.  This is so stupid.  They need some kind of class waiver.


  1. Chris:

    It's your business but please don't buy GM or Chrysler (dodge) trucks.

  2. Don Lloyd:

    ...Apparently the EPA is going to review these trucks model by model. This is so stupid. They need some kind of class waiver..."

    For a head bureaucrat to maximize his empire building, every truck color will need its own review.

    Regards, Don

  3. Allen:

    I'll 2nd what Don said.

    As for Chris comments, it does remind me that given the current situation one has to wonder why the EPA has had these trucks non-categorized for so long and it's only now that they've halted their importation. Is the government trying to "protect" their investments in Chrysler and GM?

  4. MJ:

    But don't worry, these kinds of people will have no problem regulating new and exotic financial instruments...or health care.

  5. MaxedOutMama:

    Lord, that is stupid.

    I think you may have won the "Stupid Regulator" weekly contest with this one.

    I have to hand it to you - I thought I knew stupid regulators so well that nothing could shock me, but this reaches a new apex of stupid regulation.

  6. EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy:

    These would be the ones that get yellow license plates in Japan?

    If so they are cramped, fragile looking, powered by hamsters, and way more functional they they have any right to be. Not that I'd want to drive one on the streets, but good choice for a work vehicle around the parks.

    I guess that reviewing their emissions would qualify as "green" jobs, though. Right?

  7. CB:

    seems like the word 'ridiculous' runs through my head more and more these past years...wonder why?

    I don't suppose you have a photo of one of these trucks? I don't think I know what they look like.

  8. EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy:

    Wikipedia article on the "yellow plate" cars in Japan: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keicar . They also come in little pick-ups and other utility type vehicles, though the article doesn't have any picture of those.

  9. KTWO:

    This has nothing to do with an administrator being confused or lacking a rule. Each knows exactly what he is doing.

    Yes, it probably will be model by model, then color by color. And why not test each one? That will employee more people.

    Then each one each month to gauge changes over time.

    They don't like you. You are running a private company that inevitably from time to time will disturb someone in government. That is certain from what I recall about your enterprise.

    Government not only expects to issue general directives to smooth out our national life. Now our masters feel authorized to smooth out any individual who irritates them even slightly.

    After one is smoothed out he is quiet and nice. But he doesn't think quite quite as well - that is called Nightstick IQ Decline, NIQD. Police units everywhere think it will be the next leap forward in law enforcement.

  10. dearieme:

    Are they right hand drive?

  11. Dr. T:

    "For a head bureaucrat to maximize his empire building, every truck color will need its own review."

    That's not even an exaggeration. Do you remember when there was "serious" discussion about banning darker colored vehicles because they got hotter in the sun and used more fuel to cool down? And isn't using more fuel (and producing more carbon dioxide) an issue that the EPA now is tasked to handle?

  12. IER:

    Power and money. As Machiavelli said, "it is better to be feared than loved." The organizational dynamics of government require that it find problems to solve, lest it have no reason to exist or to grow. The air is cleaner than it's been in almost 100 years. Same with the water. If the EPA admits that, the public would ask why their taxes need to be spent. http://www.epa.gov/airtrends/images/comparison70.jpg

  13. IgotBupkis:

    > They need some kind of class waiver.

    How could you expect the EPA to have class when they don't even have a clue?

  14. IgotBupkis:

    > seems like the word ‘ridiculous’ runs through my head more and more these past years…wonder why?

    Could it be.... Satan!!?!?



    (If you are a typical humorless libtard without a single, solitary clue, read this *first* so you might actually manage to grasp the silly referential joke instead of somehow thinking it's a serious suggestion like a total and complete moron. Thanks!!)


  15. IgotBupkis:

    > Power and money. As Machiavelli said, “it is better to be feared than loved.”

    Which is one chief reason why one should always recall another Machiavelli quote:

    "Among other things, being disarmed causes you to be despised."
    - Machiavelli -

  16. ADiff:

    Pity the State Government's so broke they couldn't manage another stupid give-away like Alt-fuels or the tax credits for golf carts that allowed so many folks to have the State buy several for them out of general funds....Oh wait! Maybe, like the "Renewable Energy" scam they're running now they'll figure out some way to have citizens pay for them with some kind of indirect taxation like that program! One can only hope.....because whatever else it may be, the Arizona state government really is that stupid, as they proven time and again.

  17. Rallymodeller:

    I actually own one of these: a 1991 Suzuki Carry 4x4. It does indeed get 60 miles to the gallon, has a 660cc four-cylinder engine with a five speed and a real transfer case, it has a flatbed with drop sides, and I have a second set of off-road tires and wheels that came straight off a Polaris ATV. I bought it last year, from a dealer, for $4000. How? I live in Canada. Here, any vehicle over 15 years old gets a pass on importation as long as it was registered somewhere in the world as a road-legal production vehicle.

    But I digress.

    What is forgotten in the US is that the EPA is not the only stumbling block for you guys to have stuff like this: NHTSA is having kittens over the idea of someone driving one of these on the highway. I drive mine all the time but I realize that a VW Microbus is probably safer in a collision than my little white truck.

  18. Frank:

    "container-loads of six or seven... for less than $10,000 a container"

    I'm sure these vehicles must have premium pollution controls for $1,600 a vehicle. (I note that 30 years ago 650cc Japanese motorcycles sold for $1,300)

    I notice the author touts Japan's 'much harsher emissions regime'. I also notice that he or she specidfically avoids stating whether such regime applies to these vehicles. Since they are produced and sold with optional two-stroke engines in Japan, I would have to wonder if indeed restrictions on emissions from these vehicles are "harsh" or indeed legally acceptable in the U.S.

    Here's an idea - why not have EPA take a look?