"The defendants allegedly put bogus 17-digit Vehicle Identification Numbers on the cars in place of the actual Nissan VIN plate," the statement read. "To avoid California’s stricter registration and emission requirements, many of the cars were registered out of the state and sold to California residents with Florida and Arizona plates."
Federal and state investigators seized three Nissan Skylines last year after executing a search warrant at Kaizo Industries. The cars did not meet U.S. environmental and safety standards.
They confiscated nine other vehicles in connection with the probe, including what federal officials described as the “hero” car from the fourth installment of "The Fast and the Furious” movie series.
Kaizo is closed, and has been closed since July 2009, when its offices were raided by several government agencies, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
For more information on the Kaizo drama, you can check out some of my past postings. There are many individuals that imported car bodies though Kaizo, and what happens to them remains to be seen. Overall, its a very small number of vehicles in the grand scheme of vehicles sold, or imported to the US. Since this first started, the early R32 GT-R's have turned 21 years old, and are EPA exempt for importation. In a few years, these first R32 GT-R's will be 25 years old and DOT exempt. The only thing these seizures are doing, are hurting individual owners, tax payers. Most of these cars are just recreational vehicles for the owners. Most are driven only a few thousand miles a year, if at all. The 1999 Nissan Skyline GT-R is even listed on the "Show or Display" exemption, however EPA requirements make meeting those standards nearly impossible. Show or Display allows the car to be DOT Exempt.
The Nissan Skyline has become, and always was a big target. Do we really need law enforcement going after these few cars, cherished by the owners, rather than other bigger, more dangerous elements in our society? Thanks ICE, I feel safer already.
Source: LA Times Blog