Grey market cars: Everything you need to know to avoid seeing your ride get ... - Digital Trends

A Land Rover Defender, Britain’s classic off-road vehicle, is ripped apart by a giant metal claw (above) and deposited on top of a scarp heap like a head on a medieval pike outside a king’s castle. The video of a pristine Defender being destroyed by U. S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has been making the rounds on YouTube, showing just how seriously the government takes illegally imported vehicles – when they locate them. Emissions and safety regulations restrict which cars are sold in the U. S. , and there are always a few good ones that get left out. That’s why someone was willing to risk having their new Land Rover crushed: they wanted a real-deal Defender, not an LR4. Cars not officially sold in the United States are known as “grey market” imports. While there are plenty of reasons to want one, getting one can be very difficult. In order to be legally sold in the United States, a car needs to comply with a long list of emissions and safety regulations. Land Rover stopped selling the Defender here in 1997 because it didn’t want to modify it to meet new safety standards requiring driver and passenger front airbags and more robust side impact protection. Tailoring vehicles to a country’s specific regulations just doesn’t always make financial sense for carmakers, especially when those vehicles are low production models like the Defender or the Lotus Elise, which was pulled from the U. S. after a... Source: