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Canada-U.S. car prices thousands apart

Canada-U.S. car prices thousands apart
A Toyota Rav 4 EV is shown during the Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place on February 9, 2012 in Chicago. UPI/Brian Kersey | License Photo

OTTAWA, June 13 (UPI) -- Canada's Senate is interested in why Canadians pay thousands of dollars more for cars made in Canada than their counterparts in the United States.

A Canadian Broadcasting Corp. investigation found in some cases, car buyers in Hawaii were paying less for some models of Canadian cars than people in the cities where they were built.

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The currency difference is negligible, as the Canadian dollar has hovered around par with the U.S. dollar for at least a year.

The CBC found the manufacturer's suggested retail price for a two-wheel drive Toyota RAV 4 that is manufactured in Woodstock, Ontario, was $22,650.

In Woodstock, the MSRP for the same vehicle is $24,865, plus a freight and inspection charge of $1,465.

Similar cross-border disparities were found among Chrysler, Ford, Honda and General Motors vehicles, the report said.

Liberal Sen. Pierrette Ringuette said she requested executives from Chrysler, Ford and GM to explain the pricing to the Senate finance committee, but they declined.

"How do you justify a car made in Canada being sold for 20 to 25 percent more in Canada than in the U.S.?" she told the CBC.

As for Canadians crossing the border to get a better deal, consumer advocate Rob Lamb said it can't happen.

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"If you're a U.S. dealer you're not going to sell a brand-new car to a Canadian and that's it, and if you do you'll lose your license, you'll be penalized [by automakers]," he said. "So dealers across the States are not selling new cars to Canadians."

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