Try not to wince as a Land Rover Defender gets crushed by U.S. Customs

Disclaimer: If you like cars, don’t watch this video.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) caught the shiny Land Rover Defender being shipped into Baltimore, and dutifully crushed it because it because it was imported illegally. If a car isn’t authorized for sale in the United States, CBP will do its darndest not to let it in.

The all-business Defender is a true “SUV” and is prized by Land Rover fans, but it hasn’t been sold in the U.S. since 1997. Exports stopped because new safety regulations would have required Land Rover to fit front airbags as standard equipment and meet stricter side impact standards.

The cost of modifying vehicles to meet American safety and emissions standards often prevents desirable models from being sold here. More recently, Lotus stopped selling the Elise and Exige models in America because it would have had to fit the lightweight sports cars with weighty dual-stage airbags.

However, cars that are at least 25 years old are exempt from all regulations, because they are considered antiques. The importers of this Defender were trying to take advantage of that loophole. Since all Defenders look basically the same, they backdated a newer model to look like one built before 1989. Customs agents were not fooled.

According to Motor Authority, Defenders can be worth up to $100,000 in the United States, while a used late model sells for about $2,000 in the United Kingdom, so there is a lot of motivation for resellers to modify and sneak them in.

Land Rovers aren’t the only grey market imports out there. Older Japanese sports cars like the Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 occasionally show up in U.S. ports, as do kei micro trucks.

Bill Gates and several other prominent Porsche fans imported the legendary 959s illegally in the 1980s. Gates eventually got the car legalized under a new “Show and Display” waiver, which allows for significant cars to be imported as long as they are driven sparingly.

As long as foreign markets get cars Americans want, there will always be people trying to sneak them past customs. Maybe Land Rover should hurry up and bring its redesigned 2015 Defender our way.

Product Review

The 2020 Volvo V60 Cross Country is a do-it-all Swedish army knife

Volvo laced up its smallest station wagon in hiking clothes to create the V60 Cross Country. It's a lifted, all-wheel drive wagon that laughs at icy roads while coddling its occupants. We travel to Sweden to try it out.
Business

Apple loses battle to use Intel modems in Germany in latest clash with Qualcomm

Apple is following the Federal Trade Commission's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.
Cars

Honda’s Urban EV is shaping up to be a high-tech, high-style electric city car

Honda will travel to the 2019 Geneva Auto Show to unveil a close-to-production prototype that previews an adorable, city-friendly electric car. The Urban EV will offer about 155 miles of range, and its interior is a tech lover's dream come…
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Cars

The hottest of all Mini hatches is coming with a Batman-approved design

The Mini John Cooper Works GP concept first seen at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show will go into production in 2020, Mini has confirmed. The John Cooper Works GP is the ultimate performance version of the Mini Cooper.
Cars

Report: Amazon and General Motors may invest in electric pickup company Rivian

General Motors and Amazon may invest between $1 billion to $2 billion for minority stakes in U.S. startup Rivian, an all-electric truck company, Reuters reports. Rivian introduced the R1T pickup at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto show.
Cars

Ford F-150 recall: Fault could cause vehicle to downshift into first gear

Ford is recalling 1.48 million F-150 vehicles over a potential fault that could cause it to suddenly downshift into first gear. The automaker said it's currently aware of five accidents related to the issue.
Cars

Volkswagen’s hot-rodded T-Roc R is ready to shred its tires to confetti

Volkswagen released a teaser sketch to preview a hot-rodded SUV named T-Roc R. Insiders suggest it will be closely related to the mighty Golf R, meaning it will pack a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at about 300…
Cars

Audi’s Geneva-bound Q4 E-Tron concept will give us a glimpse of the future

Audi has released a trio of teaser sketches to preview the Q4 E-Tron concept. Scheduled to make its debut at the 2019 Geneva Auto Show, the design study takes the form of an electric SUV with a muscular design and a tech-filled interior.
Cars

Tesla’s Dog Mode lets good Samaritans know that Fido’s A-OK

Tesla's latest over-the-air software update adds two features called Sentry Mode and Dog Mode. Sentry Mode records footage and alerts the owner if someone breaks in, while Dog Mode runs the A/C so owners can safely keep their dogs in their…
Cars

Rock out in the carpool lane with Singing Machine’s Carpool Karaoke microphone

Carpool Karaoke fans can count down the days till summer. That's when Singing Machine's Carpool Karaoke microphone will be available. Connect the Carpool Karaoke Mic to your car radio to make your next road trip a mobile karaoke party.
Cars

Bentley Bentayga Speed surpasses Lamborghini Urus as world’s fastest SUV

The Bentley Bentayga Speed has wrested the title of world's fastest SUV from its cousin, the Lamborghini Urus. But the Bentley is just 1 mph faster than the Lamborghini. It requires 626 horsepower to achieve that top speed.
Emerging Tech

With CabinSense, cars will soon know who’s riding in them and respond accordingly

What if your car could know who's riding in it and customize the entertainment and safety options accordingly? That’s what's promised by the new CabinSense in-car Occupancy Monitoring System.
Outdoors

General Motors cycles into a new market with its first-ever ebikes

When General Motors launched a public campaign last year to name its new ebike brand, many wondered if Bikey McBikeface might win out. But it didn't. Instead, it's called Arīv, and the two bikes are up for pre-order this week.