The recent report disclosing the proliferation of black-market export rings is further proof that the federal government must remain vigilant when it comes to used-car scams.
In what has become a burgeoning industry, exporters typically hire straw buyers in the United States and send new vehicles to other countries by claiming them as used on customs declarations. Scammers are benefiting from high prices caused by high tariffs on imported new vehicles and heavy demand for luxury vehicles in China.
But such scams are causing big problems for U.S. dealerships, which are contractually prohibited from selling new vehicles to anyone who intends to export them. Dealers can be penalized for doing so -- even if they don't intend to do that.
They may be forced to pay chargebacks, have incentives revoked and receive fewer vehicles from the factory.
The federal government, working with dealerships, must ensure that such scams are stopped. It's simple: No one wins.