Why Are Nissan Skylines Illegal in the USA

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Driving in the US comes with a caution. Whether you buy a car without a title or you choose to drive an illegal vehicle, you must know the rules. Things can be a lot of legalistic.

Nissan Skylines are Illegal in the United States because of NHTSA, EPA, and DOT regulations. These cars were quite expensive and the company was shut down. You may be wondering why of all the cars in the world, the U.S government has to ban the Nissan Skyline. They were iconic cars, with the best handling and power that was outstanding. 

They boast the right features with amazing specs that made them super cool to ride. Yet, with all their incredible features, the Nissan Skylines don’t pass the standard requirements by the US Department for Motor Vehicles and Department of Transportation. Hence, they come under the blacklist of prohibited vehicles.

There are clear explanations the Nissan Skylines are illegal and you will find out a few of them as you read through this article. But first, let’s take a look at how these cars became popular in the first place.

How Nissan Skylines Became Popular?

Japan’s Prince Motor Company single-handedly built the Skyline, debuting in 1957. Prince Skyline reigned for more than a decade between 1957 and 1967. It then merged with Nissan, becoming the ‘Nissan Skyline’. After the merger, Skyline started to take a new shape. Then it was a four- or five-door station wagon and features a 1.5L GA-30 engine.

The first racing GT Skyline did not come until 1964, the year preceding the merger. Skylines stopped being a sedan car and became a race car after the introduction of the GT Skyline.

In 1969, after the merger, Skyline became a Nissan and it showcased its first performance at Tokyo Motor Show. People greatly admired the incredible performance the brand exhibited. Featuring an Inline six engine and 160 horsepower, everyone wanted it for keeps. Then it became the talk of the town and gained popularity instantly.

Why Nissan Skyline Is Illegal?

With the massive popularity, the car gained, one would think it would still be in vogue and trending. That is certainly not the case. The Nissan Skyline, according to the American government, didn’t pass the essential safety test.

Let’s look at some of the reasons why Nissan Skyline is illegal in America;

  • Nissan Skyline GTR’s too powerful

This was one of the greatest reasons why the Nissan Skyline doesn’t make the list of cars that can ply the U.S highways. They are incredibly too powerful. The Nissan Skyline R34-GT-R is a four-wheel drive, with 200 miles per hour. This is a maximum speed on a highway. 

The massive power of the vehicle is incredibly outrageous. This is because if they are matched with police cars, would be way out of the league. The speed and power of police cars are less compared to the Nissan Skyline. And it would be almost impossible for police cars to catch anyone riding in Nissan Skylines.

  • It fails Safety Test

Nissan Skylines doesn’t make the list of requirements that are necessary for an automobile to undergo before it can become and checked as safe to go to the US market. This is not only because of its power, the GT-R doesn’t feature any safety backup. Anyone riding in it may be endangering their lives. 

Although Nissan Skyline may go through the warm sniffer test and pass; the story is different when it comes to a cold start emission test. The vehicle is lacking in many other emission and safety components to meet the US environmental safety standards 

Manufacturers must send cars for basic safety tests at the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard before releasing them to the market. The American Authorities wanted cars to undergo safety tests. Most importantly, the crash and emissions safety test at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for independent testing normally costs a fortune. Unfortunately, Nissan Skyline fails to undergo the test, because they don’t want to spend much at the US testing authorities.

  • It’s a Right-Hand Drive

Another reason is that Nissan Skyline comes as a right-hand drive vehicle. To the manufacturers, going back to produce a left-hand version wouldn’t be economically beneficial. And again, they never design the cars with the plan of exporting them. The manufacturer originally builds the cars for domestic use and consumption.

It’s important to state that right-hand cars are not illegal in the US; they are not common either. As a result, the manufacturers think there is no point in producing cars that may not appeal to the majority of the buyers and potential car owners.

Apart from the economic implication, Nissan also found it difficult to invest serious technicalities in modifying or changing the steering wheel and chassis to the left-hand drive. The technical challenge is that the car’s engine plumbing and turbochargers occupy the required space for the steering column. Modifying the other parts, including plumbing, brake, master cylinder, and clutch also posed a serious challenge.

  • Replacement parts are pricey

The Nissan Skyline is illegal because they are very pricey and the car spare accessories are rare to come by. Besides, there is no service for dealers, with most replacement parts difficult to find by motor dealers.

  • Accessories are Rare

Anyone who wants the Nissan Skyline will have to buy the replacement parts of this vehicle unassembled will have to get them from sellers in far-away Japan, China, or the UK. What it means is that it takes time to ship the parts to the US and this costs a fortune to buy and ship. This was quite stressful and it was a risk no one was willing to undertake.

Final Thoughts

The Nissan Skyline has made quite a history in the auto market and has proven to be one of the best cars ever invented. It gives other car manufacturers a run for their skill; it also spurs the urge in other manufacturers to upgrade their models. 

Skyline is no doubt a huge automobile to beat. A massive GT-R horsepower that can cover 200miles in just an hour on a highway is indeed incredible. It speaks highly of itself with a performance like this.

But you may have to think twice if you’re considering having the Nissan Skyline as one of the cars that occupy your garage. 

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