Some of y’all might have seen the news that about 40 Land Rovers across the country were seized this week by U.S government officials. Vehicle owners began reporting on Tuesday that, depending on their location, a combination of police, federal investigators and Homeland Security officials searched out the vehicles. Federal warrants were produced, and as far as we can tell the removals of the Land Rovers were accomplished with due process and by the book. The big question, however, is why the vehicles needed to be seized.
According to Jalopnik, “Vincent Picard, a spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said authorities believe the cars were unlawfully brought into the U.S.”
The Land Rovers were apparently imported illegally as part of a black market business. One owner of a seized Land Rover says that a police detective showed him where the Vehicle Identification Number had been filed off the engine and then re-stamped with a falsified VIN. Another owner said that he purchased his Land Rover in North Carolina and had no idea it was illegally procured. This harkens back to the 2013 case of Aaron Richardet, a North Carolina chiropractor who ran an illegal Land Rover importation business from his home. The Land Rovers this time around appear to be 90s, 110s and Defender models circa the year 2000.
These are excellent vehicles that we would be happy to see on America highways, and we can understand why people would leap at a chance to own one. However, the old saying holds true: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. While it may be tough to procure a Defender, obtaining a Discovery Sport is a different matter. Scheduled to arrive next year, the new DS carries through the design of the Vision Concept shown at the New York Auto show earlier this year (it was the super cool one on the aircraft carrier with the Virgin Galactic spaceship next to it). The mid-size SUV borrows the style cues of the concept without much departure, and will likely be packed full of the latest technology.
In the meantime, feel free to browse our inventory at Jaguar Land Rover Cary for a Land Rover you can depend on.