Its more to do with importers who at some point drew attention to them selves with either unknowingly importing an illegal ride or knowingly the feds are going APE and going after imported vehicles. The interesting thing is that the German auto makers were the one's who pushed for strict restrictions on imported vehicles to the US market back in the early 80's. Between the the Auto groups owning entire regions of car dealers and non domestic companies influencing our regulations for what we can own here at home I feel like the Auto biz is getting too big for its pants and needs to be taken down a few notches.. When are were going to be able to order our vehicle with our Amazon prime account?
To add some clarity around the potential VIN tampering issue, as you all know Land Rovers are widely known to rust. A lot. Frequently, its the chassis that suffers the worst. This has created an entire cottage industry in the UK of producing factory correct replacement chassis. These replacement chassis are galvanized so that they dont rust ever again.
The FEDS are adamant that a factory correct replacement frame - which is a replacement part on these vehicles no different than changing brake pads - constitutes VIN tampering because the original chassis, which had the VIN stamped on it, is no longer. And if you stamp the correct VIN into the replacement chassis, thats tampering x10.
It's absurd, especially given the (FEDERALLY MADATED) recall of millions of Toyota trucks to - you guessed it - replace the chassis due to rust!
Thats interesting OH&D, I was contenplating galvanising the chassis of a truck I hope to bring to the US, mostly for sale purposes, and it always quite dezirable. Down here Defender chasis dont rust like in the UK, as there is no salting of roads. But sounds as if gslvanising could work against one importing a vehicle. Thanks for a heads up. A good rust inhibitor internally and a coat of two pack outside may be the way to go.
That is absolutely correct. Defenders with galvanised chassis are automatically flagged as illegal when they hit customs, even if its a perfectly originally restored 1985 110. Galvanised chassis = not original = tampered with.
I see in the OP's link to the article there is another link to that ill faited defender being cruched by authorities. An officier points out that the door hinges are replaced. Do they expect a car 25+ years old to be totally original. Its weird all right. Oh no, I have no idea where the original tires are, and I chucked away the OE oil ages ago.
This whole thing was centered around the actions of one individual who was doing this out of North Carolina.. I believe all the trucks seized were trucks that he brought in and then sold off to unsuspecting customers, it is still an ongoing criminal investigation..
A small observation - there is even some 'confusion' over here with regard to the legality of chassis replacement. It is legal, but the main thing that concerns the authorities is that the old chassis is scrapped and not reused. Because what has happened on occasion is that the old chassis has been repaired and as it has been passed off as a proper legal vehicle. There's some info here that might be of use: linkhttp://www.glencoyne.co.uk/vosalaw.htm
It depends on where you are with the way a registration works,over here the registration is tied to the chassis,so if you've a rusty 1991 defender,and put a new chassis under all the original bodywork and running gear you technically have a 2015 defender,in the UK I think it is different. I think the main issue isn't actually in the states,but the original countries that the defender came from,it could be a stolen defender in the country of origin,with the VIN scraped off and replaced with one of a car they have the registration for,which could have been exported to africa,which is why it is important for the numbers to match up when they are arriving in the states.
I think that law is there for your benefit,fixing defenders is an unending task,which will probably cost you your marriage and your job :sombrero: