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The Real Reason America Banned The Rover Mini Cooper
The Rover Mini Cooper kept the original Classic Mini’s design, but was updated with better safety features such as steering wheel airbags and side-impact protection. Unfortunately, the Classic Minis are gray market imports that have been seized in the U.S. as part of Operation Atlantic, and the Rover has been negatively impacted.
Although it’s not too hazardous to be driven, the Rover is simply not old enough to be imported legally, because it appeared in 2000 and the Imported Vehicle Safety Compliance Act only exempts imported vehicles that are at least 25 years old. It's quite ironic how older Minis with outdated safety technology are allowed to be imported, while the improved Classic Minis aren't.
Perhaps the Imported Vehicle Safety Compliance Act should be amended, or even abolished as hopes to do with its petition. For the moment, the law stands, and those who insist on importing Rover Mini Coopers prematurely will potentially be met by a seized vehicle and nothing but a smashed pile of metal and glass to show for it.