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July 13, 1999

CLA-2-87:RR:NC:MM:101 E83964


TARIFF NO.: 8703.23.0044

Ms. Marian Duntley
Corporate Manager
Customs and Immigration
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
19001 South Western Avenue
P.O. Box 2991
Torrance, California 90509-2991

RE: The tariff classification of a Toyota Prius Motor Vehicle from Japan

Dear Ms. Duntley:

In your letter dated June 24,1999 you requested a tariff classification ruling.

You submitted photographs and technical information of a Toyota Prius Motor Vehicle. The Prius is a 4-door passenger vehicle. You state that what is new about Prius is the type of power train system combining a gasoline engine with an electric motor, with the gasoline engine being the primary source of power. This power train is named Toyota Hybrid System ("THS"). This new power train system is designed to effect the further reduction of CO2 and increase fuel economy.

· The Toyota Prius is a 4-door 5-passenger sedan. · The interior volume of the Prius is 92 cubic feet (2.605 cubic meters). · The gasoline engine is a gasoline spark-ignition internal combustion reciprocating piston engine of 1,496 cc. It is a DOHC 16 valve, water-cooled 4-cylinder engine. · Maximum power output is 86 horsepower and is produced by the combined use of the engine and electric motor. · The length of the Prius is 163.3 inches, the width is 66.7 inches, and the height is 58.7 inches. The wheelbase is 100.4 inches.

With THS, the engine not only drives the wheels, it also turns a generator, which charges the battery and powers the electric motor. Therefore, unlike an electric vehicle, Prius never needs external battery charging. THS automatically starts up and shuts down the engine as needed. When the car is stopped or running at low speed, the engine automatically shuts down completely. The electric motor drives the wheels during start-up at low speed, since it can provide high torque even at low speeds. During full-throttle acceleration, the engine and motor both drive the wheels, teaming up to provide acceleration and performance that are even better than conventional vehicles. At that time, the engine operates at maximum output to drive the vehicle wheels and the generator, while the battery provides an additional power boost to the motor.

The applicable subheading for the Toyota Prius will be 8703.23.0044, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons (other than those of heading 8702), including station wagons and racing cars: Other vehicles, with spark-ignition internal combustion reciprocating piston engine: Of a cylinder capacity exceeding 1,500 cc but not exceeding 3,000 cc: Other: New: Having engines with not more than 4 cylinders: Other: Of an interior volume exceeding 2.4m3 but not exceeding 2.8m3 . The rate of duty will be 2.5% ad valorem.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Robert DeSoucey at 212-637-7035.


Robert B. Swierupski

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