Did they not do 1 minute of research? A car cannot be imported LEGALLY until it hits the date of manufacture. GTRs did not start manufacture until May. This car was declared a CDM car when it's JDM. All of which is a perfect example of an ILLEGALLY imported GTR.
I'm not sure which car you're talking about, the '90 R32 GT-R nismo which the article is about, or the recent '89 R32 GT-R brought in from Canada.
In the former case, Sean had all his ducks in a row and petitioned the NHTSA on Show or Display for the car (since the nismo, although not being much different than a base model, was produced in very small numbers).
In the latter case, yes the '89 brought over from Canada on the 1st was improperly filed since the requirements for manufacture date were not complied with; the owner relied on a CBP official's suggestion that they would be accepting only model year instead of complying with the regulation. The buyer filed the car as a "1989" on the HS-7 and did not expand on it, but the VIN would reveal a much later car (they actually started producing the base GT-Rs in August at a rate of about 1000 per month). The likelihood of his car being seized after having both HS-7 and 3520-1 is pretty low (higher now with the grapevine), but yes there is always the chance that the Gov't would refuse to grandfather the car and decide to set a standard to the regulation. My opinion: It's not worth it to risk your car to have it 8-12 months earlier. Just wait.
"People had their cars taken from their houses by customs agents and destroyed." This is whats wrong here in the U.S. in my opinion. If I buy the car legally with all paper work to prove it, Don't you dare take my vehicle away from me. I don't care what issue they have, I used my money not the governments so they could take it away. I feel like its a waste of government time and money (my stupid tax dollars) for them to tell me that I cant buy the car of my dream.
The Gov't does what it wants, and if you're not savvy enough to ask the right questions, know the regulations, know the paperwork you need, and know what you're getting into before you buy the car, then you probably deserve a visit from ICE. They're very interested in knowing how a 3000+lb hunk of metal gets into the country without CBP's notice as this can transition far beyond cars.