Junked U.S. Cars Operate Illegally in Tijuana, Mexicali

A study from Tijuana’s Colegio de la Frontera Norte, released in January by researcher Alejandro Díaz Bautista, estimates that at least 80 percent of air pollution in the border cities of Tijuana, Mexicali, and Ciudad Juárez is created by vehicles smuggled in from the U.S. and Canada.

An estimated 3.5 million cars and trucks are operating in Mexico illegally. Many vehicles are considered junk or scrap metal, not intended for operation because they fail to meet physical, technical, or environmental standards. According to the research, the majority of the vehicles come from U.S. junkyards; the largest amount operate in Tijuana and Mexicali.

Municipal police don’t have the authority to confiscate the old vehicles. The State, however, can confiscate cars of foreign origin that are not properly imported or registered. In the past, owners of the old cars and trucks have demanded the legalization of their cars and rigs. Many citizens prefer to buy an illegal vehicle because they can avoid paying taxes and registration fees.

Colegio de la Frontera Norte researchers said that since 2009, the owners of illegal vehicles in Baja California have not consistently been subject to sanctions. Legalization of these vehicles could boost tax coffers by six billion pesos a year.

Source: El Sol de Tijuana

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When we first put LOJACK in the PD helicopter ABLE as a test and flew it along the border, we thought it was a technical error. The needle kept pointing south and the alarms going off. Dozens, if not hundreds of stolen cars in Tijuana.

If that's the case, the cost of installing LOJACK is worthless with that number of cars headed south. Too bad the Mexico police don't enforce auto theft crimes either. Otherwise, all those cars could be back with their rightful U.S. owners. The TJ PD could even be driving some of them.

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