Unbiased Information about JDM Cars/Japanese Imports
The inspiration for our community grew since 2004 since the rise of imports of amazing Japanese cars from Japan's domestic market (JDM), most of which were previously unavailable in markets outside Japan.
Examples of why people find jdmvip.com so useful:
- Researching JDM Cars, Ask Us Anything and We Can Help
- Car Specifications
- Reviews of JDM Cars
- Importing/Exporting Japanese Used Cars
- Parts and Suggestions
- Engine Information
- Car Maintenance
- Common and Problems and Solutions for
In that time there have been many different websites, communities and of course companies formed to serve the JDM Import Car enthusiast community. Unfortunately since this is the automotive industry, there are a lot of underhanded and dishonest things that do go on when it comes to JDM Cars.
Most concerning of all are communities sponsored by different JDM import companies that ensure negative opinions and information cannot be circulated about their dealings, many hiding under the guise of being an enthusiast site and trying to claim they are unbiased. There are certainly many great communities and importers to serve the needs of the import community but there are perhaps just as many that are waiting to take advantage of unsuspecting JDM Japanese Used car buyers.
Unlike many other communities and sites, we have absolutely no involvement or ties to anyone in this industry. We are individuals who want to get the most out of Japan's finest offerings of JDM Cars and help others do the same.
This site was created first and foremost with the consumer in mind. Our goal is to provide real exciting, unbiased and factual information about the excellent variety of JDM cars available for import.
We hope you enjoy our growing community and the wealth of information it will continue to be for as long as the JDM scene is alive.
If you have any questions about JDM cars visit our Japanese Import Car forums by clicking here
. We'd also like to remind everyone that JDMVip.com welcomes all its members from around the world including government officials and import/export companies to be a part of our site.
-- JDMVip.com Team
Other Information About The JDM Car Market
- Imported Vehicles from Japan are common around the world, not just the UK (United Kingdom), Australia, but Africa, Europe and the Caribbean.
- Canada Imported Vehicles from Japanese Used Car Auctions.
Importing JDM cars from Japan has become very commonplace in Canada.
- Most cars from Japan are sold through "Japanese Used Car Auction" such as USS Nagoya and other auction houses around Japan from Tokyo to Hokaido.
- Japanese Cars for Sale are usually originally purchased from auction houses in Japan such as USS or JU.
- JDM Used Cars are in high demand around the world.
- Enthusiasts and casual owners import japanese cars
- JDM Imports are known for their reliability and value
- You can find JDM cars for sale on jdmvip.com
- We have lists of Japanese Car Importers & Exporters
Most Popular JDM Cars/Japanese Imports:
- Nissan Skyline Cars (R32,R33,R34 GTS-T,GTS-4 and GTR)
- JDM Toyota Supra (MKIII JZA70/MKIV JZA80)
- JDM Mazda RX7 (FD3S)
- JDM Subaru Impreza WRX STi,Type RA,STi Type RA (GC8,GDA,GDB)
- JDM Toyota Celica (ST185 and ST205 GT-Four WRC)
- JDM Honda CRX, Civic, Accord, Prelude, Integra
- JDM Toyota Aristo 3.0V/V300 Vertex (same thing as USDM Lexus GS 300+ series)
- JDM Mitsubishi Delica/Pajero
Hot Regions for JDM Cars
- Canada: BC (British Columbia), AB (Alberta), SK (Saskatchewan), MB (Manitoba), ON (Ontario), QC (Quebec), NS (Nova Scotia), NB (New Brunswick), NL (Newfoundland and Labrador), PE (Prince Edward Island), NT (Northwest Territories), YT (Yukon), NU (Nunavat).
- Canadian Cities: Vancouver, Victoria, Vancouver Island, Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, Regina, Brandon, Winnipeg, Toronto, Markham, London, Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax, St. John's, Charlotteown, Yellowknife, Iqaluit.
- Caribbean: Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Trinidad and Tobago
- Africa: South Africa
- Europe: UK (United Kingdom), London, Ireland, Scotland
- Australia/New Zealand: Perth, Sydney.
Latest from the JDM Car Discussion Forums
It turns out this has been discussed previously "https://jdmvip.com/forum/InCar_Video_camera_and_display_Import_Discussion_Canada_Importing_JDM_Cars_From_Japan-1165-t"Here and "https://jdmvip.com/forum/Car_Camera_Import_Discussion_General_Discussion-2350-t"Here... but that was years ago. I'm going to splurge and start a new thread on this topic. ;)
I'm close to insuring and driving a RHD JDM Impreza I bought a few months ago. I'm not the least bit leery of shifting with my left hand, or worried about drive-thrus etc... but I admit to being a little concerned with making left turns in busy intersections when someone across from me is doing the same thing driving in the opposite direction. Their car is in my way of seeing who's coming, even to some degree when I'm driving a regular LHD vehicle. With a RHD vehicle, the situation is much much worse. 95% of my driving is within the city of Vancouver. I find myself very often sitting in an intersection, waiting for traffic to clear so I can turn left. I don't want to be in a position where I'm continually playing Russian Roulette.
So, I'm considering getting a dash cam... [Iand[/I an additional monitor. The dash cam would be performing double duty. One, it would be doing what a dash cam normally does... recording everything going on in front of the car. Secondly, in it's mounted position [Ion the far left side[/I of the windshield, it would be supplying a live video feed through it's A/V out to a small 4.3" TFT monitor positioned somewhere in front of me on the right hand side of the car. The small monitor is not to view Canuck hockey games (especially [Ithis[/I season!)... no, it's to better see who's coming towards me while turning left if/when my view of oncoming traffic is being compromised.
Prices have greatly dropped on this technology. I've checked into it and I figure the whole shebang could be bought from China/Hong Kong (through eBay) for about $50(US). Yes, seriously... and that's for a dash cam with 1080P resolution!
Has anyone else done this, and if so... how well has it worked out?
There has been lots of talk about this but I haven't heard or seen any live examples. Be our tester please :). Honestly it sounds like a potentially helpful idea as long as you are aware of blind spots which is my only worry about using one.
...it sounds like a potentially helpful idea as long as you are aware of blind spots which is my only worry about using one.
Believe me, I won't be relying on [Ijust[/I the camera and monitor when I'm driving. ;)
Even today while I was driving my trusty Fiero, I noticed how many times I was turning left in busy intersections... and realized how difficult it would be to see who was coming if I was sitting a few feet over to the right hand side.
I've basically decided on the dash cam I wish to use. It's just a matter now of finding the best priced version of it on eBay that's not a low grade fake with inferior components. I haven't quite decided on the size of a monitor yet. I don't know if a 4.3" one is sufficient, or if I actually need up to a 7" one to see oncoming cars clearly enough. It might be a somewhat of challenge to fit a larger monitor in a location where it's easily seen by me, but doesn't seem obtrusive.
I'll keep you apprised of my progress. :)
It's a good idea, I had started to look into something similar when I was looking into RHD @10yrs ago, I wanted to find a slim camera I could attach to mirror, then screen inside, I never did find what I was looking for back then, and when I finally got into RHD, I've primarily had SUV's, so sit higher and could see across, but I did have a lowered Aristo, that was hard to see, but I knew if I was going, I had the power to move me instantly :P, if I thought it would be dicey, I waited, sure people behind me would get pissed sometimes, but, I go when I know I could go
As for the screen to view, a 4.3 should be enough, as it is the quality of the video feed thats more important, bad cam= doesnt matter if its a 4" screen or 80".. it will show crappy
It's a good idea, I had started to look into something similar when I was looking into RHD @10yrs ago
, I wanted to find a slim camera I could attach to mirror, then screen inside, I never did find what I was looking for back then...
It a good news/good news situation... as over the last decade, the technology has advanced, and the prices have plummeted!
As for the screen to view, a 4.3 should be enough, as it is the quality of the video feed thats more important, bad cam= doesnt matter if its a 4" screen or 80".. it will show crappy.
Well... yes and no. :) With inexpensive dash cams now being capable of 1080P, the image quality is superb. (I'll probably get a "https://dashcamtalk.com/forum/threads/complete-review-of-g1w-c-capacitor-based-dash-camera-nt96650-ar0330-1080p-30fps.3543/"G1W-C.) The problem, as I see it, is that the lenses are so wide-angled (in order to take in a wide perspective). The unfortunate result is that everything in the distance shows up as being rather small. I suspect that a 4.3" screen just won't be large enough to quickly see what [Ineeds[/I to be seen. It's [Inot[/I that much more expensive to get a 7" screen (800x480), and objects/oncoming cars will basically be displayed twice as large, so that's the route I'll go.
I believe I've found a decent location to mount the monitor as well. With the lid removed here... a lowered flat surface presents itself. This should be a good spot for the monitor base to hunker down in and be anchored.
I'll probably get a "https://dashcamtalk.com/forum/threads/complete-review-of-g1w-c-capacitor-based-dash-camera-nt96650-ar0330-1080p-30fps.3543/"G1W-C.
I pulled the pin and ordered one of these dash cams today. The price was [Iso[/I low, that I suspect it's a fake. I included the following message to the vendor with my PayPal payment...
"Important: If this item is not a genuine G1W-C dash cam with a NT96650 processor and Aptina AR0330 image sensor as stated in your listing, I will contact eBay and instruct PayPal to refund my purchase."
If it's a fake model with inferior components, I'll first put in a request to PayPal for a refund. If for some reason [Ithat[/I doesn't work, I'll then ask my credit card company to do a chargeback. But hey, I'm hoping this G1W-C
is the real thing!
Another review of this dash cam is "http://www.bestdashboardcameras.com/g1w-g1wh-g1wc-gs108-dash-cam-review/"Here.
Hey Everyone, it's been a while since I posted but I thought I'd share some findings.
Recently, through the winter I had noticed what seemed like a minor dragging somewhere in the driveline, but couldn't quite pin anything down. I checked tire pressures, and discovered they were low, so naturally filled to required pressure. This seemed to improve things, but I still noticed that the car felt like something was sticking, especially when I came to a stop, and let the car coast the last little bit.
Today, I decided that when I got home from work this morning that I'd take some IR pictures (I've been trained in this at work for electrical troubleshooting) to see if there was something that could be noticed and this is what I found...
Pretty sure I've got to replace another front caliper as I think the Front Right isn't retracting properly when I release the brake. If anyone is interested, the part is equivalent to a 2002 Forrester, but only the piston end, the bracket has to be salvaged from the original.
Any other thoughts?
Nice work how much does this IR camera cost? I had the same issue with my front right on Impreza.
You can get a nice IR camera for less than $1000 these days. Much less if you look around. I don't know what the Canadian Tire version is like. But I think you can get it for less than $500.
I use a Fluke VT02 for most of my IR stuff. Pretty sure it set me back about $1000 when I bought it, but that was a few years ago now.
But at work we use mostly FLIR and Micron. Those can get very expensive.
Now, if only I could figure out what the misfire is when the motor is cold...
You can get a nice IR camera for less than $1000 these days.
Those are great images, and quite helpful... but for now I'll continue to use the back of my knuckle. :)
I've been wantitng to get a motocompo for awhile now, but I havent found much good information on scooters. I swear 49cc and under use to be exempt, but the new nhsta document I was a bit confusing.
JDMVIP will be participation in the 43rd Annual Radical Speed Sport Car Show
This year it will be held between April 21st-23rd 2017 at the Moncton coliseum.
2017 Show Features
Tom Smith from MISFIT GARAGE
Catherine Bach "Daisy Duke"
Twiggy from Vegas Rat Rods
This will be our 3rd annual club display, and we would like it to be even better then before.
I am hoping to have between 5-8 cars in the display.
If you are interested in entering your car please contact me directly.
Previous display from 2015
If you have anymore question feel free to PM me
How's it going folks been a member for a while but only got my acc authorised last week due to an error
Cars in ownership at the minute
93 Toyota starlet gt ep82 (Project)
99 Toyota Trueno ae111 my own car
00 Subaru legacy be5 b4 (engine blown)
01 Subaru legacy be5 b4 (donar car)
00 Toyota celica sports m zzt231
08 Honda fit ge6
Have owned a few jdm cars
ep82 starlet gt x3
ep91 glanza s x1
ep91 glanza v x3
S14 Nissan sr20det
Honda civic ferio ek4 saloon
Honda civic eg4
Honda civic eg8
Honda civic ek4 vti UK SPEC b16a2
Honda civic ek4 jdm spec b16a
Honda civic ek3 uk spec
00 Blue toyota celica sports m
a range of zzt231 gen7 celicas mostly 2zz powered and one 1zz
a range of gen6 celicas st202 models x1 red top beams x3 3sge and x1 3sfe
x2 ae101 fx-gt 20v one full car and one rolling shell which sold in the last few weeks
Have a facebook page that hosts cars going to auction in Japan in near future would like to use that page as an opportunity for importing cars into Ireland
Imported a 2008 Honda Fit back in May of last year I was in Japan Jan 2016 for two weeks and sussed out about importing so this is my daily driving 84km per day to work its a 1.3 auto 100bhp was a grade 4 import and have to say its immaculate
Wow Joe glad you were able to get on here and thanks for sharing your amazing set of JDMs!
Wow, very nice crop there!
jdmvip;94109Wow Joe glad you were able to get on here and thanks for sharing your amazing set of JDMs!
Slowboi;94111Wow, very nice crop there!
Thanks lad, we don't have restrictions on imports in Ireland so they have been around a while, back in the day we had they best of jdm imports, ae86,r32,r33,rs200,ek9,zzt231,ek4,eg6,dc2 and dc5s unfortunately since the recession hit Ireland the importing started to slow down in mid 2006/2007 although it is starting to pick up again its mostly rear wheel drives like jzx100 ae86 and rs200 altezzas
As some of you already know I have decided to part ways with my STI.
If you want more information you can check out my build thread or PM me directly. I try to check the forum every few days.
I also want to be clear that this car is not stock, it has a built engine from Lachute Performance in Quebec. Please do your research on the cost of these motors before you go and criticize the price of my car. My asking price reflects what is done to this car and I consider it fair. I have more into this car then what I am asking, so this is my loss and your gain. Price is also negotiable, I will entertain reasonable offers. Please no trades
The car is currently stored until I find a buyer. It is located in Moncton New Brunswick. I am willing to ship, but the buyer is responsible for arrangements.
The car is licensed and inspected in NB until May 2017. Everything is in good running order, I can provide more pictures or detailed videos to potential buyer if they cannot come see the car in person
Anyways here is a quick rundown on my car
2001 Subaru Impreza STI Version 7
6 speed manual
Lachute Performance AK Series EJ207 #0189 (10,000kms) 119k on the body.
-Version 11 STI 75mm crankshaft
-Version 11 STI rods
-Omega Racing Pistons 92.50mm
-Version 9 STI Heads/Camshafts
-ACL Rod Bearings
-ACL Crank Bearings
Zero sports catted downpipe
Zero sports stainless exhaust
Walbro 255 fuel pump
Genome STI gauges with controller/pod (factory option)
Prodrive cluster 260km/h (factory option)
Version 8 blue carpet
HKS Turbo timer
Version 8 rear wing
Zero sports grill
OEM rear spats
OEM rear diffuser
Rally Armor mud flaps
OEM rain visors
OEM fog lights
Aftermarket large scoop
Factory mini disc and Alpine deck
Car is factory equipped with the following
- Power windows
- Keyless entry
- Power steering
- Power folding mirriors
- Power adjust headlights/hid
- Intercooler spray (auto)
- Auto climate control
- Brembo brakes
Factory 17" version 7 wheels with 225/45/17 Goodyear
Sold as is where is
No I wasn't planning for a cambered look!:eek:
But seriously thinking back to the weeks and months before here's what I remember. The front started to feel a bit more stiff (I liked it) and the rear will start bouncing hard as in you are getting thrown out of your seat (this means your rears have sunk and are hitting the rubber stops on the mounting area). It may happen a few times and get better if you adjust your height but be warned it is like playing with fire when all of them may go at the same time (also note when you pull over the car may have already levelled itself out so just because you don't see the rear has sunken doesn't mean it's not a symptom). Another thing when I think back to it is that the car gradually over days and weeks appeared to get a bit lower on its own. The thing is that none of this stuff is very obvious until after the fact and hindsight so this is why I'm stating what sounds obvious :).
Just some background info I read for years that air is not reliable and this is true of even in the newer UCF31 series of Celsior and probably air in general for other vehicles.
In the Celsior I read consistently that "the rears go first" and you can really see they are lower. If your rears are lower then it is a sign that your air suspension has probably begun its inevitable demise. The thing is according to various Lexus forums is that you better replace everything at once regardless of if it's just a sensor or a single strut because "the others won't be far behind". My mechanic also confirmed there was oil leaking from all of them so they virtually all failed at almost the same time.
One more note is that I had a suspension controller from Japan and the car came fairly slammed. I read that using "sport mode" and lowering these cars significantly reduces the life of the air suspension.
Hope the above is useful. Personally I am glad I ordered the RSR coilovers with the car I think everyone should have a pair of springs or coils handy if you have air in case a day like below suddenly happens.:D
For those who know the situation there has been a lot of debate over it, some people at first thought the issue was minor but even to this day I can tell which cars are from Fukushima auction because they have the "red/white" radiation shield right in the photo bay. Does anyone know how far the auction house is from the Fukushima reactors?
Would you guys stay away from cars that went through Fukushima?
Before people get too scared I believe cars being exported are tested for radiation and get a so-called "ANCC" sticker. Some countries still may screen for radiation.
I need some help. I have a Mitsubishi Outlander 2005. And it is repeatedly diplaying a message consisting of a wrench and a text in japanese. Thought it needed servicing, did it! But it keeps dispaying the message, first when you open doors and also when your start the engin (as per pics here attached). I need to know the meaning of this recurrent message. Can someone help?
First photo says many months until next service is due.
Second photo says Period Check which mains vehicle needs service.
I really need some help right now. I have been waiting on two vehicles from Sastrad KK for over a year now. (I already posted the whole story in another post, this is a separate issue)
I was working with a Japanese friend who is also an exporter. We have discovered that, one of the vehicles is still in Sastrad KKs ownership.
However, the other appears to be sold off to an auction company. We searched through the registration office and found this.
I jumped on the auction sites and by chance, and there it was. The one car that was sold off to an auction company.
Sastrad kk sold it off and I now have proof that this is now fraud. I have no car and no refund.
Does anyone know of anyway at all that I can go after this car? I have proof that I sent him the money for the vehicle. Including invoice made up for the car from Sastrad KK and wire transfers, along with emails of him confirming payment.
Sorry if this is in the wrong section, I am just at a lost right now.
Please, if anyone has any ideas at all, please let me know. I feel like the second car is next on the for sale list if it is not already sold, but not registered.
Definitely a lawyer in Japan may be able to help you. The question would be assuming they can help you and they can secure the vehicle, will the legal fees outweigh or equal the potential loss?
Also assuming you have verified the chassis# matches at auction?
jdmvip;94076Also assuming you have verified the chassis# matches at auction?
Yeah the VIN is how I discovered it listed in auction. It is also on tradecarview for sale. I have emailed the seller casually to find out some info, but no response yet. I have been trying to reach different lawyers in Japan, but none have even replied. It has tried to sell through auction a few times, but did not sell. I am trying to get this resolved before this week is up, as I think it will be sold, and gone forever.
jdmvip;94075Definitely a lawyer in Japan may be able to help you. The question would be assuming they can help you and they can secure the vehicle, will the legal fees outweigh or equal the potential loss?
I also have a japanese friend helping out there. he ran the registration on both vehicles, and the one came up as a different owner, which is what started the search. getting the other vehicle here might be easier as long as its in his name. I just need to find someone on the ground who knows what to do. This cant be the first time this has happened so there has to be someone!
I am sure there must be a way and really hope it works out for you. We really need a "JDM Car Legal Advice" thread for fraud, misrepresentation etc.. and a "JDMVip friendly lawfirm".
I pulled the spark plugs today... first time I've ever done this on a Subaru engine. Wasn't too bad with the battery and air filter box removed.
I suspect these NGK spark plugs (BKR6EIX-P
) have been in this engine for a [Ilong[/I time. Car has 140,000 km on it. I was a little disappointed to discover that the spark plug from cylinder #4 was rather oily. The sheen is noticeable on the ground electrode and on the nose of its ceramic insulator in the image below. I'm hoping this isn't an indication that major engine issues are imminent (or have [Ialready[/I occurred). :(
I want to replace these with regular BKR6E
spark plugs. I see that NGK has a slightly different version of this plug, BKR6EYA
which is supposed to be "fouling resistant". I thought maybe this might be worthwhile to try keeping in mind that one cylinder seems to have an oil problem. Anyone have any thoughts on this? Any reason why using a "YA" plug (fouling resistant) would be a [Ibad[/I idea?
Anyone have good or bad reviews on this service.
Mark is on holiday I would normally go through him!
It's not really a service but more like a market place with many Exporters. We have a few threads on here that talk more about it but generally there are good and bad experiences to be had, it depends on the Exporter in the end.
I probably should broaden my question.
Tradecarreview hold your funds until the car is shipped apparently. Wondering if process works. Tried search function but not many hits.
I was curious if anyone had experience with this.
Bought a lot of cars in Japan over past 6 years and had bought 10 cars through Sastrad by that point. Last 2 bad others were great. Still screwed me big time on last car .
Before him the old autosquare which were awesome!
Thanks for your reply!
I haven't heard feedback about that but if they do what they say I imagine the service works though TCV has had a bad rep from the start. From what I recall reading they basically say once there is proof of shipment they release the funds (and they admit whether or not the vehicle is good/bad misrepresented is not their issue or intention of the service). It is a good idea to do, but there are ways to scam the system if Tradecarview does not take steps to verify the BOL is real or for the car claimed (or in other words if a fraudulent/fake/forged BOL is used as proof which is also an issue I have seen in general even outside the Japan car world).
Autosquare had a good rep, they did come back but it is not clear how the service has changed or even if they are the same people/company based on some old threads here.
Sorry I know the above may not help a lot, but I think with recent events we're all a bit nervous. I have been let down by people who seemed great over the years and with good reviews (although sometimes if you PM people who review they tell you the real story but would always deny it in public).
Another thread I suppose but I've always asked our members to be honest on the forums with the reviews and report any problems (eg. I think we would have known Sastrad is going down awhile ago if people had posted sooner even for what they thought was minor).
I have a very rare set of forged wheels TRIAL Zelda Magnum by RAYS 18x10 +12
Spec'd for R33 GTR but will fit many other brands. The clear on lip is peeling out so will need polishing.
Just washed the GTR...new pictures
wow sick R33 congrats z32 and great see one of the old school original members !
Yeah old school but not very active. Where do you guys meet in summer?
Where are you now? I'm in Surrey we have meets in the Vancouver area sometimes but any members are welcome to post a meet thread for anywhere.
Hello guys I want to overhaul my D4 engine 139,000km I bought on line. I have been aware of the difficulties of the D4 so I plan to extend its life further. what should I replace on this engine?
need to replace both of mine.
I tried to re-seal both of mine (didn't work) and have to install new ones. I noticed that they EXACTLY like the local EJ205 WRX valve cover gaskets. Can anyone confirm or deny ?
Here is the gasket.
I do not know for sure but would think the chance is high that they would work (older Subaru models had gaskets compatible from other Subaru's with different engines even).
There is a thread I have here for Subaru FAST, you could punch in your chassis# and make 100% sure.
jdmvip;93971I do not know for sure but would think the chance is high that they would work (older Subaru models had gaskets compatible from other Subaru's with different engines even).
There is a thread I have here for Subaru FAST, you could punch in your chassis# and make 100% sure.
can you please give me the link ?
Hello fellow JDMrs,
We are Essex County JDM Tuners Inc. We have been importing vehicles and parts for just over 4 years now. We have been around vehicles, JDM specifically for over 10 years.
I am sure some of you have heard, if not been involved with what has happened with the above mentioned exporter/dealer in Japan. I will go into as much detail as I can about the transaction. This will be neither an emotional or slanderous review. It will not contain anymore info than is already available online about Steven and his company. It will only have truths and what exactly happened to inform you of our dealings with his company so you can make an educated decision when deciding to use his services.
I can not upload any files to the site as I am a new register, but if any of you would like to see the emails, Skype conversations on everything that went on with this company, I have no problem sending them to you in PDF form for ease of reading.
The short story:
We ordered 3 vehicles, a 40 foot container that later turned into a 20 foot container because of some mix ups on Stevens side. This was in 2016. The container was delayed from May 2016- December 22nd 2016 when it finally arrived. The vehicles, 1 of the 3 did arrive finally after 6 months, with no documents, occurring storage charges which were taken care of but the other 2 vehicles did not arrive, and have since not arrived. Steven has promised dates and promised dates, but the two vehicles as of February 9th 2017 have not arrived. One was ordered in November 2015, and one in February 2016. I would avoid this company at all cost. Steven Smith of Nagoya Japan, and his company Sastrad KK and its employees.
The long story:
Where do I even start...
It was October 2015. My company was doing great for just being about a year old here in Ontario. We were bringing in as many cars as we could handle to North America. We had 3 main suppliers out of Japan for vehicles, and got used to the flow of things. We could get the small part here and there shipped over, gaskets, lights, etc. but we wanted to start bringing in some serious volume. We saw a market that was just beginning, and that a lot of other companies were taking advantage of. So we started our search for a reputable exporter that did containers of parts on a regular bases.
Enter Steven Smith/ Sastrad KK. We contacted Steven by email first. We actually had heard that he was used by one of the importers out West here in Canada, and it went well. We did more digging online and found that he was used all over the world, and not only was an exporter of vehicles, but also had a dismantling license, and 3 of his own shops, being able to dismantle and load whatever we needed.
The first big transaction was a motor. We sent a $1000 CAD deposit to Steven, which at the time worked out to about 90000 yen, (our dollar sucks btw). We used Paypal at first for security reasons. Than we began searching in Japan for parts that we could start loading the container with.
We started reaching out to the JDM community, advertising that we could help get that huge cost down on JDM parts because we were filling a container. Being our first big shipment, we wanted to keep the cost down, so we were charging a small fee. It was not much over what we paid out to Sastrad KK/Steven Smith. Clients would pick out what they need. Most contacted us asking if we could get a certain part. We would look on a certain auction site in Japan, and other local contacts we had previously. We would find what the clients needed, show them pictures, videos and any info that was necessary to help make the decision. We would ask Steven what the total price would be. (On a side note, Steven was charging 20% on any purchase we ordered through him, he did not do this for free I might add). Steven would than give us a price to present to the customer. The customer would pay us, we would pay Steven, and than Steven would order the part to his shop to store, ready to load for the container.
The process went on like this for a couple months, we would pay Steven, and he would bring the parts to one of his shops. During this time, we had also ordered 2 vehicles through him for RO-RO shipping. A 1993 Toyota Supra RZ and a 1999 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 6. The Supra was ordered to his shop in February of 2016 and the Evo was ordered to his shop in November, 2015. The Supra was purchased from a local dealer in Japan, and shipped to "PIT STOP", one of Sastrad KKs locations. The EVO was bought through auction.
The EVO price was paid right away to Steven with no delay.
The Supra payment did have a delay of 15 days. We were working with a client in the USA. He was planning on buying the vehicle and storing it here in Canada until it became legal. He paid in two payments via bank transfer. It took us a few days to receive each transfer, something I made Steven aware of. But as soon as we received each payment we sent it on to Steven through a payment service which only takes a few days to clear in Japan account. First payment was confirmed received by Steven February 9th and the second half was confirmed on February 18th, paid in full.
This is around the time we starting having problems. The main concern at the time was, we had asked for pictures and video of each of the vehicles. He would promise that he would get them asap, but weeks would go by before we would receive them. I had a full gallery of pictures and video from the dealer who was selling the Supra, so I wasn't to concerned with that car, but we did want to see a better running video at Sastrads shop, (something we never received). The Evo was ordered from auction back in November, 2015, we did not receive pictures until February. I approached Steve about this and asked what was going on. He assured me it was lack of his employees and that he will take care of things.
From March-May we had asked Steven to send pictures of the Supra. Something we did not receive until late June I believe while it was at port. The vehicles we ordered sat at what I assumed was his shop from the time they arrived until May. Eventually realising I was not getting pictures, I just told him to get us a quote on shipping to Halifax. I asked him this many times. Requesting quotes to Halifax. It took him roughly 2 months to get this quote, but by that time I had decided it was better to just send the vehicles to BC, and have them shipped over to Ontario from there. This is where I find out that Steven not only got the quote to Halifax but also sent them to the port in Japan that ships to Halifax (Kobe port, according to Steven) something I did not ask for him to do. When asked why they were sent to Kobe, he ignores the question and begins to say that he will send them to Nagoya to ship to BC, but I have to pay for storage charges at Kobe port and the new inland shipping from Kobe to Nagoya. Wait what? Why am I paying for your mistake?
It is now May, 2016. In this whole mess of things we had already ordered our third vehicle. In the beginning of May is when we started to request the container to come over from Japan. Our original plan was for February, 2016, but we did not have enough parts in the container to make it a worth while shipment. Between February and May we received a couple more part items to go into the container. We had paid for a Skyline that was promised as a rb25det, automatic. But we later discovered after months of begging for the chassis number, that it was not turbo, or even an RB25, but an RB20, NON turbo. We did request a refund for this vehicle among other small parts totalling upwards on $3000 CAD, but never seen that money back to us. Steven said it was to be used as payment for fees on the container. Which we do not think was ever done as promised.
His company first went dark on May 2nd 2016. We did not here from him until May 10th 2016 and from here on we had nothing but problems reaching Mr. Smith and his company. It was just back and forth with excuse after excuse. Food poisoning, bad employees working for him, and so on. He promised shipping dates over and over of both vehicles and the container. The sad thing is we did not even have a full container, but at this point we were not giving anymore money to his company and just wanted what we had delivered.
He finally came to us in July and told us of a family issue that was going on and that he was going to be back to normal the following week. While this was sad and very unfortunate, it was no excuse when running a business unfortunately. This is other peoples lives you are dealing with, not just your own. I wasn't holding my breath, so I started digging around, and found out that not only had we been run aground, but many companies from all over the WORLD were dealing with this bad experience. Lawyers were involved, people threatening Steven himself. It was quite crazy what I found at this point.
We told him to just get the items we had sent over. He promised this and from July-September we received new shipping dates etc, but no vehicles or parts ever showing up. We began contacting lawyers in Japan to try and help with the issue. To our surprise one of them was already dealing with Steven, and informed us that filing a case against him would do nothing because he had sold all of his assets and closed all of his shops but one in Japan. The one he didn't even own according to "property holdings". The next step was to head over to Japan and try and deal wit this face to face. We had an old address of Stevens, and to see what would happen if WE showed up there, we sent an old friend of ours who was living in Japan at the time to his shop. When he got to the shop he said it was empty and looked as if no one even operated there. When I told this to Steve, he said that it was a lie and that the shop was just not open to the public and he would have to make an appointment, an appointment that never happened.
We started doubting any of this was ever happening, so we had to lay off most of our employees by summer 2016, and I myself had to go back to flooring business to try and get some of this money back to the clientele. I continued to work at this situation. But it continued the same way since May. No response, than a response with a shipping guarantee, than nothing.
October, 2016: ONE of the vehicles FINALLY shows up to Vancouver. BUT low and behold the shipping is not paid, and the proper documents are not sent over to clear the vehicle from customs. So the vehicle sits and wracks up $800 in storage fees, plus freight is due. We finally get this car moving after all of these fees are paid. But where are the other two vehicles? The Supra and the evo? The EVO now going on a year since we ordered it.
Oh, "they must have missed the boat" Steven tells us. We are told they are scheduled for the next one that is not until December 22nd 2016. He said that it was a sure fire thing, and that since they were at the dock they would be first in line to load on this December boat. Not having much choice, we wait.
December 11th, 2016- We are notified that that a container has landed in Vancouver by the port of BC, Canada and has been targeted for customs inspection. At this point we have already exhausted our funds, sending money back to clients across Canada and the USA. We did not expect the container at all. We go to work to figure out how to accept these charges.
December 13th 2016- We email Steven and ask if the vehicles have been shipped on the 22nd boat. No response.
December 28th 2016-Steve sends an email asking why the container has not been picked up. We inform him that is is because he has not sent over the OBL until 2 days prior, original bill of lading to clear customs. As well, the freight company is telling me that Steven is with holding this because "all items in the container are not paid for" We email him and ask why this is happening? He responds same day, saying, "That is not true. Never claimed this and so this is untrue. The items in the container have all been paid for."
January 4th 2017- I ask for an update on the vehicles whereabouts. Did they ship on the 22nd or not. Steven emails me back and says "I will reply before your Tuesday. Holidays in Japan now."
January 5th 2017-Steve emails asking why we have not picked up the container yet.
January 9th 2017--I ask him if he has an update on the container yet
January 11th 2017-Steve emails again, only concerned with the container, I email back and ask for proof of shipment of the vehicles, and that we will be pursuing legal action soon if he does not surrender the B/L for these vehicles with dates of shipment. Steve responds and I quote "I have asked the loading company for their costs. As for legally safe, I am fully aware of the law in Japan and have been advised by more than 1 Japanese lawyer regarding procedures. Like yourself, they have just said to finish the transaction with you in a timely manner. So, I suggest then that you have your lawyer contact me from now on. You are within your rights to come to Japan. I am more than happy to give you my company representative you can deal with when you bring a legal case against my company. If you are thinking of just coming to my place of business, it is private property and Japan is very specific about harassment issues, just like Canada. Be advised that you will not be welcome to enter my place of business without an appointment."
January 11th 2017--Steven emails again saying that I am not fulfilling my end of the deal by not picking up the container ( even though the container was supposed to ship back in May 2016), and that his company has fulfilled their end. I email him back explaining just how much his company has "fulfilled", again asking for shipment confirmation on the vehicles. He emails back and says brings up the container again, as to why i am not picking it up. He ignores my questions about the vehicles again.
January 12th 2017- Steve emails again, only requesting about the container.
January 28th 2017- We finally see a way that we can accept the container. At this point, most of the clients are refunded in full. Steven emails again stating that we are not picking it up. I tell him that we are working on it the best we can, and to focus on getting us a shipping schedule for the vehicles. Steven responds with, "The most urgent issue at the moment is the container ocean freight and storage costs."
January 31st 2017- I email Steve and tell him we are trying to take care of the container asap, but where are the vehicles? He ignores the question again, and only responds with "concerns" of not picking up the container.
February-5th 2017- We pay duties on the container.
February 6th 2017- I contact CN for a reduction of storage fees based on our situation with Steven and his company. I send CN a detailed PDF file container all dealings with Steve on the container. I email Steve asking for an update on vehicles whereabouts.
February 7h 2017-I email Steven again, asking for an update on the vehicles. CN responds and says the will cut storage GREATLY. I pay storage, and get ready to pay freight and arrange delivery of the container.
February 8th 2017- I email and call Steve. No response about the vehicles again.
Today, we are still waiting on our vehicles ordered over a year ago. The container as you can see was a terrible mess. This company was neither professional, or worth dealing with, and if anything was the cause of many companies closer, including the possibility of my own. While I do agree, I personally could have handled everything better with the customers, that is for another review. This is the review of Steven Smith aka Sastrad KK.
You can use this info how you please, but I would stay far away from this man and his company. I have documents as mentioned if you wish to read in depth. This has been a terrible experience, and I will continue and try to rectify this for the vehicle clients. As of today, most clients are paid, accept for a couple that agreed to wait on the container, that is now FINALLY being delivered.
Again, this is a review of Steven Smith and his company Sastrad KK. Try to stay on topic here when commenting.
If anyone has any way of helping with the last two vehicles from this company, please comment, we cant send PM as we are to new registered. We would love the help and just want to get these cars to the proper owners!
If you have any questions just ask!
if you have the 2 vin's of the 2 cars in Japan, I can see if I can help u locate them.... alteast have some info on where it was last reported
Hope I can help
alsxe10;93945if you have the 2 vin's of the 2 cars in Japan, I can see if I can help u locate them.... alteast have some info on where it was last reported
Hope I can help
Sure any help is help! We check auction and dealer listings all the time to see if he is trying to sell them off, but nothing has come up.
First car is: CP9A-0103578
Second is: JZA80-0011742
I too have a vehicle paid for including shipping which is over 16 months dealing with Smith to no avail.
If we can get enough people on side I think we can get some support through the Nagoya police force. Do not forget Smith is a Canadian citizen and there are possibilities with the RCMP if we can mount a group effort.
We need to keep these efforts off the public forums in the future - not the issues but the efforts!!
terreneuve;93963I too have a vehicle paid for including shipping which is over 16 months dealing with Smith to no avail.
If we can get enough people on side I think we can get some support through the Nagoya police force. Do not forget Smith is a Canadian citizen and there are possibilities with the RCMP if we can mount a group effort.
We need to keep these efforts off the public forums in the future - not the issues but the efforts!!
I am all for this if you are. Do you know of anyone else looking to peruse Steven? If we can possibly get a lawyer over in Japan, we might be able to use him to find our vehicles and get them shipped out asap?
Please let me know. I am still owed two vehicles, and have just found out he has fled Japan to the Philippines. He has sold off one of my vehicles to an auction house, the other I have no idea where it is. It is showing still in his company name however.
I just spent two months in Japan and saw many Toyota Crowns which I had never heard of before. I also saw for the first time a Nissan シーマ (Shima) or Cima, as we call it here. I can't find much info about it online, aside from it having come here only as the Infiniti Q45. Just wondering if anyone else has experience with this vehicle, specs, etc. Specifically models manufactured from June 1996-2001. Are they reliable? Peppy? Easy to mod engine/body? Gassy? I'm looking to import one or the other (Crown or Cima) and was hoping to get some insight on the two. Crown seems to be a little more popular, but if the info is on hand, then it would be nice to hear about it as well. Thank you!
I feel the Crown would probably be more reliable but CIMA/Q45 is fairly reliable. The sportier of the two would no doubt by the Nissan CIMA.
So recently I've been thinking about selling my two subarus and buying a car from one of the importers here in the states. I'm curious about how well are these cars suited for everyday driving? (I live in Ohio, and drive roughly 300-400 miles a month, with an occasional road trip.) I don't really care about mpg. I just want it to be fun and reliable transportation. The cars I'm considering are a skyline gts-t, 180sx, supra (mk3 turbo), soarer
I know its hard to generalize all these cars with one answer but, I have a few questions.
Are parts hard to find?
Is it hard to find people to work on if it's above my knowledge?
How bad is insurance compared to usdm cars?
Are they any more or less reliable than our cars? (I would assume it's the same but I've never dealt with any of these cars.)
Congrats and welcome to the forums, from what I know all the vehicles you are considering are quite reliable in general. I think you would be surprised as long as you get a good example and care for it properly.
Parts for the Skyline will be the hardest but honestly it is not hard or expensive to ship parts from Japan. For the others I am sure some parts can be found locally.
I don't know your area but in general the engines in those cars are well known by most enthusiasts, I would think most tuning/performance shops would have no issue. I've always found that any good, experienced mechanic can work on anything.
Sorry I do not know about insurance at all in the US.
To be honest if you want a reliable car, I would say steer away from 25 year old turbo cars :P
Please respond via link as I don't check this forum often.
I'll be heading to Japan for 3 weeks in April and I was wondering if anyone knew of any meetups in Tokyo or Kyoto? Maybe I've just seen Tokyo Drift one too many times, but I would love to wander into a parking garage filled with JDM Monsters ;)
There are some local clubs in Japan and wish we had contact with them.
One thing which is a pain but worth it would be to take the Tsukuba line way out there and go to Tsukuba circuit!
Generally just walking around Japan you will see a lot of nice JDMs but especially the farther out you go from main areas I find. Eg. I did not see any JZS147 Aristo in Tokyo but saw one in Tsukuba...also there are a lot of garages around that area.
Let us know what you find and learn. I wish there was a "JDM Car Tour" package in Japan!
Yeah I just spent two months in Shimonoseki, which is largely rural, and I saw multiple FD3S and R34 daily. Parked and driven. So he might be right about straying from the core areas. I can't help you with Tokyo other than saying Japan is a blast and most of the people are probably too friendly. Their driving is a lot different, and over here would be considered dangerous (slightly offensive - taking shoulders and sidewalks) but it works well for them haha. They have these curtains they hang up to block the side windows, rather than tinting them. I thought that was pretty neat. Safe travels!
Very cool and welcome to the forums? Can you make a new thread and use our VB Image Host with some pics? Did you ever drive in Japan (I have not) but would like to rent a car if any tracks have a company near or a service like that. In Tsukuba they appeared to have a lot of car shops right near the track too!
Thanks for the info! When I get back I'll share some photos for everyone!!