If you want to import a vehicle, legally, contact: ImportAVehicle.com

Friday, May 19, 2017

How Did You Import A S15 Nissan Silvia?

How to illegally import a Nissan Silvia S15.  September 2016

How did you import that Nissan S15 Silvia?  S15's were never sold in the US, but like anything, if someone wants something bad enough, they will do anything to get it, including breaking the laws.

The Nissan Silvia was sold from 1999-2002 in Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.  There were several models, engines, and transmissions available.  Overall very similar to the S13, and S14 versions. Evolutions vs Revolutions. Rear wheel drive, SR20(mostly), two door coupes.

Recently a shop called All JDM Motors in South Carolina was busted importing a 1996 R33 Nissan Skyline GT-R. Customs opened a container that All JDM Motors said contained engines and parts. It turned out that the shell, was actually a running car with a couple parts removed.  Since 2014, they had supposedly imported 18 containers.  Out of those 18 containers, how many contained illegally imported and declared cars?   We don't know for sure, but their Facebook page showed at least two other vehicles that seemed to be imported the same way.

How to illegally import a Nissan Silvia S15.   May 2016
Every shipment is electronically filed with CBP, and this documentation is part of what allows the shipping companies to release the cargo. If the documentation is forged, or false, and a physical examination of the goods/container at the port does not occur, then the black market, or contraband cargo could be released.

We have people ask us all the time about vehicles, that were not legally imported. It happens, there are a lot of shipments that come to the US, out of the thousands and thousands of containers that come in some will slip though.
Vehicles that are imported to the US, must meet certain requirements based on the model year, or year of manufacture.  The NHTSA or DOT governs Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, or safety items. The EPA governs emissions related items.

CBP says on a typical day they process :

» 72,179 truck, rail, and sea containers
» 282,252 incoming privately owned vehicles

So they will miss a few of the illegally imported cars.

Once the cars are in the US, people use contacts in the DMV, mostly Florida, to get their illegally imported cars registered.  The biggest issue we have is that these illegally imported cars can eventually be seized. When they are seized, the person that owns the car, normally has no idea that the car was illegally imported.  They normally lose the car, and they lose their money. The scammers like All JDM Motors got paid, and move on to the next person they can scam.  Don't say its none of our business, because it is our business.

R33 GT-R from post June 2016. Another illegally imported car. 

Illegally Imported R33 GT-R

US Legal RHD Vehicles For Sale - Jeep

RHD Jeep. New and Legal in the USA

A lot of people probably don't know, that it is possible to buy a brand new, USA legal, Right hand vehicle.  Checking on Autotrader, they have 310 Jeeps listed as RHD.

The Jeep above is pretty unique. Pink wrap, right hand drive. Not sure exactly who will buy that but someone out there probably needs it.

RHD Jeep
There is nothing specifically in the FMVSS(Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards) that talks about the position of the driver, they just say that there must be standardized controls and displays. This is another one of those things I see repeated by people with no real knowledge of the US rules and regulations.

People get the import laws, title, registration, individual state regulations mixed up. It all is confusing.

Some examples of vehicles manufactured in compliance with FMVSS are right hand drive garbage trucks, and mail cars.Vehicles over 25 years old are NHTSA exempt from Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

RHD Jeep FMVSS label

We occasionally here people say that right hand drive is not legal in the US, as you can see above it is legal, they even still sell brand new RHD cars in the USA. 

RHD RX7, RHD NSX, RHD GT-R, RHD S13, RHD Cappuccino

CARB announces emissions modification for more VW 2.0 liter diesel vehicles

CARB announces emissions modification for more VW 2.0 liter
diesel vehicles

Generation 2 automatics cleared for repair, Generation 2 vehicles
with manual transmissions are not approved for modification

SACRAMENTO- Eleven thousand more Volkswagen 2.0 liter diesel
vehicles in California have been approved for emissions
modifications required to reverse the effects of “defeat devices”
installed by the company. The modification approval for the
so-called ‘Gen 2’ automatic 2-liter diesel engine found in model
years 2012-2014, was announced today by the California Air
Resources Board (CARB). That approval covers about 10,600
vehicles in California.

There are approximately 590 vehicles from this group with manual
transmissions in California, and they are not covered by today’s
approval. VW has been unable to demonstrate the required
compliance, and is reevaluating its proposed emissions
modification for these cars.

“Today’s approval is another important step in efforts to repair
the environmental harm caused by these vehicles and their excess
emissions in California, while giving the affected consumers
another choice for resolution” said Executive Officer Richard
Corey. “We are advancing on the technical fixes per the
settlement agreement as expeditiously as possible.  So today’s
approval is not the end of the story. VW must still successfully
modify thousands of earlier model vehicles, or prepare to buy
them back.”

The Generation 2 vehicles are among more than 70,000 2.0 liter
diesel cars with defeat devices sold in California. There are
nearly a half-million 2.0 liter VWs and Audis with defeat devices
nationwide. In the worst cases these vehicles were emitting up to
40 times the allowed levels of nitrogen oxides (NOx). NOx is a
primary contributor to ozone (smog) and California has the worst
areas in the country for ozone pollution.

The Gen 2 automatic cars now join the Gen 3 cars which received
their modification approval on January 6, 2017.

Modifications for the approximately 49,000 Gen 1 cars, the
earliest models from model years 2009-2014, are still being

Engineering is also underway for possible modification of the
17,000, 2009-2016, 3.0 liter diesel vehicles which have defeat
devices. Modifications have not yet been approved for those

Owners of these vehicles can learn more at:

CARB’s VW Infromation Web page is here:

Thursday, May 18, 2017

R33 GT-R Seized in South Carolina

Illegally Imported R33 GT-R
If you listened to most people on the internet, this never happens.  They always seem to have a friend, a boy, a guy they know that has had some "grey market" car they imported, and have "no problems".  Titled and insured. Ever wonder how those cars get imported?  Here is how many of them enter.

According to this article in the Post and Courier, "When they opened the container, inspectors with Customs and Border Protection say they found a bubble-wrapped 1996 Nissan R-33 Skyline automobile that had been placed atop two rows of used engines, transmissions and other parts."

The car, missing the wheels and doors, fired right up when customs agents tried to start it. Even though it was declared as a used breakdown car and $810 on the importation documents.  After Customs found the one car, they served a search warrant on All JDM Motors, the importer, and seized two computers and documentation.

"Car collectors say speed is the main reason the Skyline is banned. The vehicle, featured in the film "2 Fast 2 Furious," can reach speeds topping 150 mph."

Well, there was an R33 in Fast and Furious. Also one in Fast and Furious 3.  I don't think one actually showed up in 2 Fast 2 Furious.  Speed...150 mph. 280 horsepower car. You can buy a Toyota Sienna that has 296 horsepower. You can buy a Dodge Demon that will about do that in a quarter mile. Trust me, nothing to do with speed. 

As a 1996 vehicle, this R33 is actually over 21 years old, and in original configuration exempt from EPA requirements in accordance with Code E on the 3520-1.

They could have waited a few years, and this car would have been legal to import to the US as a 25 year old vehicle. However like a lot of greedy people, they want what they want, regardless of the current laws. 

"The smuggling charge carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years while the other charges are punishable by fines or prison sentences of up to two years."

The thing is, Customs is now alerted to any other cars they might have imported.  So the people that might have bought smuggled vehicles from these scammers, might lose their vehicles.  Often the people buying these illegally imported cars have no clue about Federal requirements.  The cars have a title, and it seems legit.  With the computers and documents from All JDM Motors, it will be pretty easy for those owners to be tracked down.  If you bought a car from them, we suggest finding a lawyer, you will probably need one. 

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