A Defenseless Defender - Losses and Lessons


VEHICLE: 1985 Land Rover Defender

WHAT WENT WRONG: Things aren’t always as they seem – and that can turn out to be pretty costly sometimes, as the owner of a “classic” Land Rover Defender found out. In the U.S., all automobiles manufactured within the last 25 years must meet strict safety and emission standards established by the Environmental Protection Agency through crash and engine testing. Since the automobile in question was purported to be a nearly 30-year-old 1985 Defender, EPA rules didn’t seem to apply. But nearly a year after buying his Land Rover, the owner received a knock on his door, and the vehicle was seized by Department of Homeland Security agents who claimed the VIN had been altered to conceal the true year of manufacture. According to the owner, the agents claimed the Defender was actually a much newer model, one not compliant with EPA guidelines. Numerous media outlets reported that a federal warrant listed more than 60 illegally imported Land Rover 90s, 110s and Defenders across the country, and approximately 40 of those vehicles were seized on the same day.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2014/08/18/land-rover-defender