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It Looks Like The US Government No Longer Cares About The 25-Year Law

Auction / 96 Comments

Because it's currently auctioning off a bunch of illegal JDM cars.

Fans of JDM cars living in the United States will be acutely aware of the 25-year import restriction on imported vehicles. For those that aren't, essentially the law makes it illegal to import any car that wasn't sold in the US market until the car reaches 25-years-old. There are ways around it but they typically involve some kind of shady tactics and we've seen what happens when the federal government finds out about it - the car gets crushed.

This is the reality we live in as US residents and we've come to accept it. So why is the US government currently auctioning off 29 vehicles - some of which include JDM cars that aren't 25-years-old - that were repossessed by US Marshals?

Tulsa World reports that the previous owner of the cars, Kong Meng Vang, pleaded guilty of attempting to sell 1,500 pounds of marijuana that he brought from California. Vang owned a dyno shop and was clearly a fan of JDM vehicles considering what cars were seized following his arrest.

Some of the cars up for auction are USDM models but many are JDM market cars including a 2000 Toyota Chaser, 2000 Mitsubishi Galant VR4, 1999 Nissan Skyline GT-R, 2000 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo Tommi Makinen Edition, 1995 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo III, 1998 Mitsubishi GTO, 1998 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Type R, 1996 Honda Integra Type R, 1997 Toyota Soarer GT-T, and 1998 Toyota Celica GT-Four.

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Anyone who can do simple math will now be thinking - wait, those cars aren't 25-years-old! Well, each auction comes with a warning saying, "Notice: OFF ROAD/TRACK USE ONLY: Never to be titled, registered, or operated on US roadways. Does not comply with US EPA Standards and Emissions."

Even when the cars reach the ripe old age of 25, we don't think they will be eligible to be registered based on how they were originally imported. If you wanted the cars to be fully legal, you'd likely have to export it, then go through the process of importing again legally. Owning a JDM car like this is a cool experience but given the history of these cars, we'd stay far away from this auction. It is interesting to see the US government loosen up a bit on its crushing policies and instead give these cars some chance at life on the racetrack.