• Aug 28th 2013 at 8:15AM
  • 496
U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents working to stem the tide of vehicles illegally entering the country recently made an example of an illegal Land Rover Defender by crushing it.

Importers are using a loophole in the law to sneak in cars that the U.S. government deems unsafe for American roads. Under the law, cars 25 years or older can be brought to the U.S. without adhering to current safety and emission standards. The Defender doesn't even have airbags.

The Land Rover Defender, sold in the U.S. from 1993 thru 1997, was discontinued in 1998 because it did not meet new safety standards. Automotive News (subscription) reports that shady importers have been putting older VIN numbers on newer Land Rover Defenders and then trying to sneak them past U.S. border control agents.

For importers, the move is worth the risk. Land Rover Defenders are worth much more money in the U.S. than they are in other parts of the world. You can buy a used Land Rover Defender in Europe for about $5,000, import it for $2,000, and then sell it in the U.S. for between $35,000 and $70,000, Automotive News says.

Customs said this particular Land Rover Defender could have been sold in the U.S. for about $150,000.

When Border Patrol agents seized this late model Defender coming into the US illegally they made an example of it, shooting video of the car being destroyed. The claw gleefully tore the rugged SUV apart and deposited it on a heap of similarly disgraced cars. It is surprisingly fascinating to watch.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      just a waste...could have sold in Canada or made some use of thing...but, is a power thing..see what we can do..destroy a $150,000.00 vehicle! They operate like children sometimes. Children without adequate oversight, guns, badges and the immunity of federal laws. All-in-all it's a shame.
        • 2 Years Ago
        Reminds me of the old saying, "You know what the difference is between a government agency and the boy scouts?" . . . . . . . . . . . . The boy scouts have adult leadership.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Nobody in the US agrees with what's happening here. What a waste. Let American's vote on this, instead of mandating it. There are way more unsafe cars driving around in the states that no require inspections. Bull crap.
        • 2 Years Ago
        nobody agrees with another conflict in the middle east, either. and we pay them six figures and benefits for life...why????
      • 2 Years Ago
      Kind of like the cash for clunkers program.
      • 2 Years Ago
      call the EPA they didn't remove all the fluids from the motor before crushing it. They contaminated the soil.
      • 2 Years Ago
      I would rather have that illegal car driving on the road than an illegal alien with no insurance driving on the road. Where is the scrap yard wher we can bring the illegal alian drivers to so we can scrap them into a pile?
      • 2 Years Ago
      US Customs has finally found something they can do to keep Americans safe from all those bad things that enter our country. Compared to drugs, thugs, and terroists coming and going at will, it is comforting to learn Customs is effective at crushing these life threatening vehicles. I have a greater sense of safety knowing these car crashers are on guard.
        • 2 Years Ago
        What have you done to help protect our country from illegal people and illegal items? Have you sttod watch for hours, have you spent hour after hour searching for illegal items/people? No I am sure you haven't but I know for a fact you spew crap like a lil bit_-. What type of work do you do? In your job if you see something illegal going on do you report it or just let the crook get away with it?
      • 2 Years Ago
      good thing the illegal people crossing don't meet the same fate
        • 2 Years Ago
        Maybe they should be; each one will end up costing us more than the land rover.
      • 2 Years Ago
      So, by the same principle, all vehicles on our roads that are not air bag equipped should be crushed and destroyed? Hell, that would depopulate half of southern Lousiana's rolling stock!
      • 2 Years Ago
      And just what was that fluid draining from the front...radiator..since this was in Maryland......http://www.ecarcenter.org/md/md-antifreeze.htm Good work border patrol! Doesn't really look like this was a "green yard", as mandated by your EPA. Maroons.
      • 2 Years Ago
      I have 2 30 year old Porsche without airbags.....I wonder when they will deem those unsafe and impound them.
        • 2 Years Ago
        Now that they know you have them, be very afraid!!
        • 2 Years Ago
        Inorder to Provide safer Raods? Any Vehicleoleder than 10 yrs old should be Impounded and Destroyed and the Own given a $5,000 Credit to be used towards a New Car.. Of course that would Really be a problem for all those so called Classic Cars so many Make $ off of.. Just make them Un Useable on the Roads..can't be used on Roads..
      • 2 Years Ago
      with as much time, effort, and money as they put into that, installing airbags isn't that big a deal
      • 2 Years Ago
      The government needs to mind their own business. If I want to drive a car that's not safe that's my choice. Seat belts, air bags. Really. When its your time it's you time.
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