Homeland Security's New Job: Seizing Land Rover Defenders

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
homeland securitys new job seizing land rover defenders

Car and Driver scribe (and TTAC alum) Justin Berkowitz has penned an amazing feature about the U.S. Government’s campaign against grey market Land Rover Defenders.

According to Berkowitz, Defender enthusiasts have been trying to skirt the government’s 25 year exemption for imported cars by fudging the ages of Defenders from Europe and elsewhere. VIN plates are often tampered with on newer examples, being replaced with older VIN plates that make the Defenders eligible for importation. But as Berkowitz reports, the Department of Homeland Security has gotten wise to this tactic, and have even enlisted Land Rover to help them catch cheaters. Check it out at Car and Driver’s blog.

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  • Rental Man Rental Man on May 18, 2013

    The Petition against 25-year import rule died for no good reason. Shame on us all for letting that one drop. I did my share. Where were you all? It was a few years ago I walked out of my Car Rental location and had a double take. A current Land Rover Defender crew Cab, short bed, Diesel. Stick shift. With New-Jersey plates. I asked the driver about it. He told me he picked it up in Belgium. He stated the least abuse and A/C on a LHD as his main decision factors. Man also said the indie in Northern NJ was able to service it. I asked him about the registration and import issue. He said no problem. Just pay the right people at the port and miraculously, the car gets registered. He might be shaking in his boots right about now.

    • Les Les on May 19, 2013

      I had no idea this petition existed.

  • VenomV12 VenomV12 on May 19, 2013

    God I hate the government. Perpetually wasting time and money on BS. Land Rover could solve the problem by selling Defenders here again.

  • MadHungarian MadHungarian on May 23, 2013

    I can see why the government would not want to allow people to import noncomplying cars by the boatload for resale. On the other hand, the sky would not fall if citizens were permitted to import one or two vehicles for personal use only. One way to control it would be to prohibit such a car from being resold for 5 years, thus taking flippers and straw purchasers out of the equation. Or just reduce the age cutoff from 25 years to 15, like Canada. Their roads haven't been overrun with gross polluting deathtraps as a result. But they do have Nissan Figaros, while I have to wait 3 more years, dammit.

  • -Nate -Nate on May 28, 2013

    Thanx for the link to the legal rebuilder / importer . I nearly _died_ looking at the prices tho' . Sweet trucks , I don't really need a 4X4 , I just remember them growing up , they were very cool indeed . -Nate