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Nissan Skyline GT-R Seizures In California - Under The Hood

Inside the industry.

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It's been nine months since we first brought you news of vehicle seizures by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents in California, who were then impounding what they considered to be illegally imported Nissan Skylines.

Recapping what took place in August of 2009, a number of vehicle import companies had been under investigation by ICE for shipping GT-Rs into the U.S. in several pieces, reassembling the cars, and then registering them as "kit cars". Dozens of GT-Rs were brought into the states under this process and were successfully registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles to be driven on the streets, but a major problem still existed: the cars had not passed EPA and DOT regulations, which are required for any production vehicle to be operated on public roads.

Cars registered under California Bill SB100 exemption, which allows for a limited amount of "kit cars" to be built and driven on U.S. roads, were red flagged and confiscated, including three GT-Rs from Kaizo Industries, one of many companies in question. Kaizo owner Daryl Alison surrendered company documents and customer information to ICE agents under accusations of illegal activities that at the time held no precedent.

Sean Morris, former Motorex employee and well-known in the GT-R community, had little additional information to offer. According to Sean, enthusiasts fighting to repossess their vehicles are tight lipped to disclose any information on the matter-not a bad move, in his opinion. "Everything is still in a holding pattern, and not much information is being shared by enthusiasts or the government," he offered. "The cars are still confiscated, but as far as I know, no charges have been filed by the DOJ (Department of Justice) against Kaizo or its owners."

GTR13, a group of GT-R owners who had their vehicles confiscated and have banded together to fight for the safe return of their cars, also remain in limbo, as they wait to hear from the U.S. attorneys on the matter. We promise to keep you updated with any breaking news as the case unravels.

Senior Editor
Scott Tsuneishi

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