I had a call earlier today that ICE , DOT, and CARB had been at RB today doing some investigating. The investigators looked at a couple of the ex-Motorex cars, called the DOT and ended up leaving from RB with only photos.
I called over to Kaizo to see what was happening over there, and I was informed that they were in the middle of it.
Vehicle Import Information Blog.
Some new information from an RX-7 forum. One poster says ICE had this to say
... ICE said that pretty much the skylines from kaizo are contra band. They are taking a snippet of the law from one part, and another snippet of law from another part. (regarding chassis and smog/manufacturer liabilities). He did say they are not far off from doing it completely legit though...
He asked if i knew anyone with a kaizo car, (dont worry i didnt rat you out :] ) but he said, that as long as you get your cali-smog expempt at the begining of each year, you are fine and there is nothing they can do against you.
He also said tht AZ and FL are the only states that dont give a crap about such things and thats why they are so popular to have cars registered there.
Three cars got seized, along with records, and computers from Kaizo. Included in the three cars seized was the actual hero car from Fast and Furious 4. We will have to see how this plays out over the coming weeks and months.
June 9th , no new updates yet, although I have had contact with a lot of people with concern over what will happen next. It is hard to say exactly what is going to happen. It will all depend on the attorneys office and what charges are brought up.
July 1st, still nothing new except the Kaizo website is down. I have not heard of anyone having any other issues yet, but I still get a few emails a week from people asking questions.
July 2nd , the inital investigation was to check out charges of smuggling and violations of the Clean Air Act. The government always goes after the Clean Air Act. Everything is still in a holding pattern until any actual charges are filed. I also found out besides the "buggy" car that was not impounded(it had a VW engine in it), the black R34 had no driveline in it.
July 10th , I read on Supra forums the following about vehicles registered in New Jersey.
FYI, if you are own a Skyline or any imported non US compliant car in NJ, NJ DMV is going through their database to do visual inspections and document inspection, NHTSA and EPA paperwork, if they are not provided they are suspending the registrations and titles.
How do I know? I have a friend who received the letter and spoke with DMV.
Source : Supraforums
B. (2) Engine not in Vehicle or ChassisThe EPA regulates only complete cars. It says it right there. They also say that without an engine a body is just a part.
EPA regulates the entire vehicle, not individual parts, for cars, light trucks, and motorcycles. If an engine is not installed, and is to be used in a car, motorcycle, or light truck, it may be imported as an automotive part. No approval or Customs bond is required by EPA. Importers should be aware, however, that replacement of an engine in a U.S. version vehicle with an engine of a different type or model year which is not currently covered by an EPA certificate or will be covered by an EPA certificate prior to introduction into commerce may violate EPA regulations.
Now heres some conflicting information, also on the EPA's website. This section under "kit car policy".
The production, sale and importation of automotive bodies alone (i.e., no chassis, engine or transmission) are not regulated by EPA since such units are not considered "motor vehicles" under the Clean Air Act. EPA form 3520-1 is not required for imported automotive bodies. A motor vehicle from which the engine has been removed is still a motor vehicle and is not considered a body.
So does the EPA even read their own regulations ? A little bit of conflict there. One section says no engine is just a body, and its legal to import. The other section says if it has no engine then its not a body. Do they even know their own rules and regulations ? Does the EPA even have a leg to stand on in court ?
No engine and no transmission is significant in accordance with DOT requirements.
A disassembled vehicle that is shipped without an engine and transmission is treated for importation purposes not as a motor vehicle, but instead as an assemblage of motor vehicle equipment items. Such an assemblage can lawfully be imported into the U.S., provided any equipment included in the assemblage that is subject to FMVSS, but was not originally manufactured to comply with that FMVSS or was not so certified by its original manufacturer, is removed from the assemblage prior to entry into the U.S. Equipment items that are subject to the FMVSS include tires, rims, brake hoses, brake fluid, seat belt assemblies, glazing materials, and lamps, reflective devices, and associated equipment.That is direct from the DOT website. So as far as importing car parts, or a disassembled vehicle to the US, its legal as long as the parts aren't anything that is covered by FMVSS.