Land Rovers imported to U.S. are crushed by customs.

Aston Martin

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Land Rovers imported to U.S. are CRUSHED by customs for failing safety rules because they don't have airbags
The exclusive vehicle was seized by customs officers in Baltimore
Its importer had attempted to fool the authorities by changing its plate
But they spotted the ruse and deemed it unfit for the US' roads
Often selling for upwards of $100,000, this one is now worth just $30



The legendary Land Rover Defender - a favourite with the Royal Family - had failed strict US safety laws and was banned from the roads for failing to have an airbag.
All models less than 25 years old on the other side of the Atlantic are expected to have the safety feature.
As a result, there is a lucrative market for the British-made vehicles, which can fetch up to six-times their UK value, and are often sold in the US for upwards of $100,000.

This has created a lucrative black market, with the importer of this model attempting to trick customs by illegally altering the car's VIN and giving it a B registration number plate.
But their exploits fell foul of Baltimore Port's eagle-eyed border officers, who seized the car as an 'illegal and unsafe import'.


Robert Hunt, public affairs programme manager for the CBP, said: 'The Land Rover Defender did not meet the safety rules of the United states roads so therefore it had to be destroyed.

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Whilst I agree the importer was a scumbag, the part that irked me was this.

Land Rover imported about 7,000 Defenders from 1993 to 1997, but it had to discontinue because they failed requirements introduced in 1998.
Defenders over 25 years old are also fitted without airbags, but all cars over this age are exempt from the ruling.

It's the same fucking car.



Linky
 

Matt2000

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Poor harmless Defender.

Whilst I agree the importer was a scumbag, the part that irked me was this.

It's the same fucking car.

Yeah that makes no sense.
 

KaJuN

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Because one Land Rover is such a danger to the entire country it needs to be crushed. :rolleyes: Thankfully since mine is so old it will be able to enter the country crush-free despite having no airbags and barely having seatbelts. Hell, the thing barely even stops but yet it's considered safe because it's more than 25 years old. :?

About the 25 year thing, thanks Mercedes. Freaking whiny little bitches.
 

Electric-Mayhem

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That is really sad to see. Someone needs to come out with an airbag kit for these to make them legal here. I'm surprised Land Rover didn't do it when the government told them they couldn't sell them here any more, but there is probably a good reason why.

I have some LC friends that would be VERY sad to see that. They should at least let you part it out instead of confiscating it and make it a ball of mostly useless metal.
 

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Fortunately EU and US government are working towards some sort of a convergence, now whether or not something will be achieved remains to be seen, at least they're trying. As for the importation of these cars, they really have to be brought in parts, then assembled and registered as a kit car, or a show car that one can drive on a restricted basis.
 

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You need to do another one with Mercedes as the caption. Both are responsible for the 'Mercedes Law' that resulted in this Land Rover being killed.

- - - Updated - - -

That is really sad to see. Someone needs to come out with an airbag kit for these to make them legal here. I'm surprised Land Rover didn't do it when the government told them they couldn't sell them here any more, but there is probably a good reason why.

I have some LC friends that would be VERY sad to see that. They should at least let you part it out instead of confiscating it and make it a ball of mostly useless metal.

You're supposed to have the option of re-exporting it or crushing it. Re-exporting it costs more money, though.
 

Electric-Mayhem

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Supposing you do not run the thing on public roads? I can see the authorities not allowing registration but cursing it when not using it on the high way is an option. ...

Now this is insane.

From what I've heard, and this is without any research or knowing details, I think they pretty much don't give you a chance to prove that it will be "offroad only" and confiscate it at customs check in. I know many Nissan Skylines have had that happen to them when people try to import them.

You're supposed to have the option of re-exporting it or crushing it. Re-exporting it costs more money, though.

There should really be a third option, that being the ability to destroy it yourself in a way that isn't uselessly destructive. I guess that is me trying to be sensible and stuff, which is a bit silly when you are talking about government regulation. What should really be sensible is to have a program in which you can upgrade cars to meet the modern standards and then have them inspected by the government.

In a lot of ways those aren't that far off from something like a Jeep Wrangler (cab on frame vehicle with a removable roof and solid axles designed for offroad and meet but don't exceed the bare minimum for impact tests... http://www.iihs.org/ratings/ratingsbyseries.aspx?id=634) so to get them up to standards you would just need an air bag installed and maybe a few other things.

I don't mind a bit of government oversight, but when you have BS like this then its just silly IMHO. Sure, airbags save lives I'm sure, but many millions of us still drive 25+ year old cars every day without them and still do allright.
 

Spectre

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Supposing you do not run the thing on public roads? I can see the authorities not allowing registration but cursing it when not using it on the high way is an option. ...

Now this is insane.

There's the 'supercar' aka the 'show and display' exemption, but you have to specifically import it as that class at that time. That only allows you to drive it 2500.0 miles per year. Yes, they check. If it goes 2500.1 miles, you either have to re-export it or it gets crushed.

The law doesn't even allow it to be imported for offroad use only. Note - not registered, not licensed, you're not even allowed to bring it in in the first place. Again, fuck you Mercedes, fuck you very much.

From what I've heard, and this is without any research or knowing details, I think they pretty much don't give you a chance to prove that it will be "offroad only" and confiscate it at customs check in. I know many Nissan Skylines have had that happen to them when people try to import them.

You can declare them as 'show and display' at time of import. You cannot declare them as 'offroad use only' imports.

Also, you cannot import anything that ever had a VIN number assigned to it as parts, assemble it and then call it a kit car. That was another dodge the Skyline guys tried and failed at.

You can, however, with the cooperation of the car manufacturer, get them to sell you a kit that was never assigned a number. One guy got one of the last of the old-style Minis into the US as a kit car that way - Rover cooperated and made him an unassembled Mini chassis with letter declaring it was a car part never made into a car or assigned a VIN number (which the Feds see as the same thing). It was brought in and titled here as a 'replica or kit' in one of the Carolinas, I believe.

There should really be a third option, that being the ability to destroy it yourself in a way that isn't uselessly destructive. I guess that is me trying to be sensible and stuff, which is a bit silly when you are talking about government regulation. What should really be sensible is to have a program in which you can upgrade cars to meet the modern standards and then have them inspected by the government.

In a lot of ways those aren't that far off from something like a Jeep Wrangler (cab on frame vehicle with a removable roof and solid axles designed for offroad and meet but don't exceed the bare minimum for impact tests... http://www.iihs.org/ratings/ratingsbyseries.aspx?id=634) so to get them up to standards you would just need an air bag installed and maybe a few other things.

I don't mind a bit of government oversight, but when you have BS like this then its just silly IMHO. Sure, airbags save lives I'm sure, but many millions of us still drive 25+ year old cars every day without them and still do allright.

Or we could do something sensible like restoring the original personal import laws and adding on the proviso that it cannot be imported for resale, that the person must own it in the US for 5 years before selling it on (unless it is destroyed in an accident), and that both at time of import and time of resale down the road, the new owner must file paperwork with the government indicating that they know the vehicle is not up to US safety standards and they cannot sue the manufacturer accordingly.
 
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pepitko

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I realize that a publicized crushing of the car is meant to be a deterrent for future offenders, but it still would make more sense to give the car to park rangers or coast guards as opposed to completely destroying it.
 

shad_68

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About the 25 year thing, thanks Mercedes. Freaking whiny little bitches.

Again, fuck you Mercedes, fuck you very much.

Yeah! Obviously that's the real problem, and not the people that actually made the fucking law. Obviously. I mean politicians have to follow whatever businesses want, right?

:rolleyes:
 

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I realize that a publicized crushing of the car is meant to be a deterrent for future offenders, but it still would make more sense to give the car to park rangers or coast guards as opposed to completely destroying it.

That's the best part. The law *specifies* that the vehicle must be exported or it must be crushed. There are no other disposal methods allowed; this is pretty unique in American law. Gee, I wonder - maybe Mercedes didn't want those gray market G-wagens running around here, even if they were in government service?

- - - Updated - - -

Yeah! Obviously that's the real problem, and not the people that actually made the fucking law. Obviously. I mean politicians have to follow whatever businesses want, right?

:rolleyes:

1. Two words: Volkswagen Law.

2. Mercedes spent tons of money on fake grass-roots groups to cry to Congress about 'those horrible unsafe gray market cars, you must do something about it NAO NAO NAO!' (IIRC, they even managed to convince old Ralph Nader that this was a safety issue.) We'd call that astroturfing these days, and since there was no general use Internet back then, nobody figured out that those groups were fake until it was too late. Further, Mercedes funded and pressured several industry groups and dealer associations into complaining to Congress. Again, nobody figured out this was what was going on until it was too late. So, the politicians being presented with an apparent groundswell of people throughout the political spectrum spontaneously demanding action, well, what do you think happened? And, of course, Mercedes only wanted to 'help the Congress' as a 'concerned company.'

You would have a point if it had been purely Mercedes openly lobbying our Congress - but that's not at all what they did.
 
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narf

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That's a law written for privatizing parts of a state-owned business, as the name "Gesetz ?ber die ?berf?hrung der Anteilsrechte an der Volkswagenwerk Gesellschaft mit beschr?nkter Haftung in private Hand" clearly states. It governs how the company is run, it does not influence anything outside the company. Two entirely different things.
 

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That's a law written for privatizing parts of a state-owned business, as the name "Gesetz ?ber die ?berf?hrung der Anteilsrechte an der Volkswagenwerk Gesellschaft mit beschr?nkter Haftung in private Hand" clearly states. It governs how the company is run, it does not influence anything outside the company. Two entirely different things.

Apparently the rest of Europe thinks rather differently. Including the European Court Of Justice. The VW law is just as protectionist, albeit in a different way, of VW (to prevent outside investment and takeover) as the Mercedes Law was of Mercedes' US imports.

In both cases, the stupid law needs to be taken out and shot, too.
 
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narf

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Apparently the rest of Europe thinks rather differently. Including the European Court Of Justice. The VW law is just as protectionist, albeit in a different way, of VW (to prevent outside investment and takeover) as the Mercedes Law was of Mercedes' US imports.

In both cases, the stupid law needs to be taken out and shot, too.

You may hate them equally, but that doesn't make them equal. They differ significantly in how/why they were made into law, and they also differ significantly in what they do.

Whether the VW Law is going to be judged as conforming to EU law or not is a different matter.
 

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Someone needs to come out with an airbag kit for these to make them legal here. I'm surprised Land Rover didn't do it when the government told them they couldn't sell them here any more, but there is probably a good reason why.

If it was just the airbag stopping it then it's possible to use Discovery parts. I'm planning on removing mine and it's just a separate system.

I expect it's more than that though, there are many ways in which defenders can be considered unsafe. :lol:
 

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For what new Defenders are going for, it seems like you could buy an older one and have it rebuilt/restored for around the same cost.
 

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For what new Defenders are going for, it seems like you could buy an older one and have it rebuilt/restored for around the same cost.

These are old Land Rovers you're talking about. That price in your head for buying one? Double it. Then double it again. That's the real figure you're looking at.
 

British_Rover

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Back about six years ago we had a guy come down from Mass with two Defenders that he was trying to sell. They were both black market cars that had been reVINed as 1997 Defenders.

They obviously were not 1997 Defenders as they were Diesels station wagon models identical to the one above. I think they were actually 2002 or 2003 MY Five door station wagon versions.
 
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