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Vintage MINI Cooper crushed upon US arrival for lack of airbag

Date: 19/12/2014 12:25:10
Category: Classic Cars
Author: Jack Stanton

A classic, iconic MINI Cooper was demolished by US customs upon arrival in America as it did not have an airbag.

Cars less than 25 years old without airbags are illegal in the States. Therefore, the highly-desirable vintage vehicle - found to be the most desired used car in London earlier this week - was crushed as part of a transatlantic partnership with the UK which aims to tackle motor fraud.

This law means that a 1988 MINI Cooper would be fine to drive on American streets, yet an identical 1990 model (plus airbag) would not, bt.com notes.

Brenda Smith, assistant commissioner at the US Custom and Border Protection Agency, said: "Intercepting illegal and unsafe imports is a top priority for [us]. Through Operation Atlantic, we are stopping illegally imported, unsafe vehicles from driving on our roadways, and at the same time, partnering with our colleagues in the UK to stop this criminal activity at its source."

DCI Gordon Roberts, from the Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service, warned that all illegal traders will be prosecuted regardless of which side of the Atlantic they are on, adding "we will catch you".

The MINI in question - thought to be made in 2000 - was seized and destroyed at Price's Auto Recyclers in Plumstead, New Jersey, dailymail.co.uk reports.

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