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Hello everyone,

I'm new here on the forum and will hopefully soon be a proud Optima owner real soon. Looking to import the car to Canada from the US. This will be my second import; my first one being a 2005 Toyota Camry which has served me well. It's time to take the greener route and Toyota hybrids just don't cut it. The Optima Hybrid comes well equipped and has a clean sporty look to it while staying sleek and elegant.

The vehicle appears to be "admissible" according to the Transport Canada website: KIA

However, it has the [IES] mention beside it, meaning that the car must be equipped with an electronic immobilization system, as per the requirements of CMVSS 114 - Theft Protection.

I know that the hybrid Optima is assembled in Korea. My question is: does Kia use the same immobilizer on ALL it's Optima Hybrids or is there a different one in the cars that will be sold in Canada? Does the US version have an immobilizer that respects the CMVSS 114?

Thanking you in advance (for the knowledgeable people who will be able to dig up the info for me), I leave you with the specifics on the requirement. Please let me know which of the three categories this car would fall into.

Also, should I need an aftermarket immobilizer, can such devices be installed on a hybrid vehicle?

Pat

From TC website, section 9:

9.[EIS] ELECTRONIC IMMOBILIZATION SYSTEM - Every passenger vehicle, multipurpose passenger vehicle, truck and three-wheeled vehicle manufactured after September 1, 2007, with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) less than 4,536 kg (10,000 lbs), except an emergency vehicle or a walk-in van, must be equipped with an electronic immobilization system, as per the requirements of CMVSS 114 - Theft Protection.

Electronic immobilizers typically require a special key or a small electronic device to start a vehicle's engine. This type of system, when activated, prevents the operation of the engine in response to any attempt to start the vehicle without using the authorized key, by shutting off one or more parts of the engine's electrical system. This might include the starter, ignition or fuel system.

Many manufacturers equip some or all of their U.S. market vehicles with electronic immobilization systems that meet the requirements of CMVSS 114, while in some cases these are available only as an option. There are also several U.S. market vehicles that are either not equipped with electronic immobilization systems, or that are equipped with electronic immobilization systems that do not meet the requirements of CMVSS 114. Here are three possible circumstances:

a) Electronic Immobilizers Installed as Original Equipment and Certified to CMVSS 114
Vehicles equipped with such systems do not require any special inspection or modifications. They are listed as admissible without any special annotation regarding the immobilizer.
b) Electronic Immobilizers Installed as Original Equipment but Not Certified to CMVSS 114
Vehicles that do not comply with CMVSS 114 will require confirmation of the presence of an electronic immobilizer at the time of the RIV federal inspection. They are listed as admissible with a special annotation ([EIS]) regarding the immobilizer.
Demonstration of the presence of an electronic immobilizer can be done through one of the following means:
- presentation of the completed vehicle purchase agreement showing the VIN and indicating the presence of an electronic immobilizer;
- presentation of the vehicle window sticker (Monroney label) showing the VIN and indicating the presence of an electronic immobilizer;
- a letter from the manufacturer showing the VIN and indicating the presence of an electronic immobilizer; and
- other type of information present on the vehicle or on the ignition key or fob allowing the positive identification of such a system.
c) No Electronic Immobilizers Installed
These vehicles will need to be fitted with an immobilization system that conforms to National Standard of Canada CAN/ULC-S338-98, entitled Automobile Theft Deterrent Equipment and Systems: Electronic Immobilization (May 1998), published by the Underwriters' Laboratories of Canada, before being presented for registration under the laws of a province.
These are listed as admissible with a special annotation [EIS] regarding electronic immobilizers.

At the time of the required federal inspection at one of the RIV inspection stations, the importer must present the original invoice (and provide a copy to the RIV) confirming the installation of an electronic immobilizer compliant to CAN/ULC-S338-98, as mentioned above. The invoice must clearly indicate VIN, name and address of aftermarket installer, date of installation, and conformity of the system to CAN/ULC-S338-98.

Importers should be aware of the following BEFORE they purchase a vehicle in the U.S.:
- there is no guarantee that an aftermarket immobilizer can be fitted to a vehicle;
- some manufacturers have indicated that the installation of an aftermarket immobilizer may affect a vehicle's warranty;
- some manufacturers have indicated that the installation of an aftermarket immobilizer may affect the performance of certain safety equipment on a vehicle;
- certified installers of CAN/ULC-S338-98 aftermarket immobilizers may not be available in your local area;
- modifications may be complex and expensive; and
- importers enter the importation process at their own risk and Transport Canada assumes no liability.
 

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No chip keys here in the USA for the Optima.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
No chip keys here in the USA for the Optima.
Most of the websites I've visited state an "immobilizer" as part of the safety featured of the 2012 Optima Hybrid. Whether its a chip in the key or not; I really don't know.
 

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Immoblilizer is a chip inside the key, to prevent the car from bring stolen. I show the same key for all of the key start Optima's. Hybrid or not.
 

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Immoblilizer is a chip inside the key, to prevent the car from bring stolen. I show the same key for all of the key start Optima's. Hybrid or not.

You do know that the 2012 Optima Hybrid uses a Smart Key with push button start, right?
 

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Being you don't use a key to start a push button start, that means you don't have use of a "chip" key engine immoblilzer. The smart "key" is the "fob"/keyless entry transmitter. It does come with a key, but it "the key" would only be used to unlock the door, if the transmitter's battery is dead.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Being you don't use a key to start a push button start, that means you don't have use of a "chip" key engine immoblilzer. The smart "key" is the "fob"/keyless entry transmitter. It does come with a key, but it "the key" would only be used to unlock the door, if the transmitter's battery is dead.
Thanks for your explanations, however, doesn't quite answer my questions. Look at the Optima Hybrid's specs. It says its equipped with an immobilizer. See here: http://autos.yahoo.com/kia/optima-hybrid/2012/base/features.html under "Anti-Theft and Locks".

Just need to figure out if it complies with the regs here in Canada.
 

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pat767, did you obtain an answer? Did you buy and were able to import that KIA from the US to Canada?

We will be trying to import our KIA's to Canada as well. We have a 2013 Optima SXL, and a KIA Forte 5 SX, both with the Technology package, which includes an Immobilizer system and a Keyfob.

We were told by the KIA dealer's tech guy that the Keyfob contains a chip that arms and disarms the immobilizer system, which in fact is in the car, not on the keyfob, as some other user stated (the immobilizer may affect various car systems, including the ignition, the gas feed, etc., which means that the immobilizer system itself is in the vehicle). Anyhow, we are getting the run around from KIA US because they state that they do not know if their immobilizer system meets the Canadian standard, which is amazing, to say the least, who knows it for a fact? They suggested calling KIA Canada, which we cannot get a hold of because their toll free number does not work from the US. We also believe that KIA Canada will say "well, we do not know what the standard of immobilizer systems is in the US". Our last resort is now calling Canadian Tire to see if they will have any information (as they will do the inspections).
 
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