J-Spec Auto Sports issued a statement and apology, recognizing many of their parts and cars on-sale might’ve been sourced from suppliers linked to illegal activities in Japan.
Update- 5/30/2020- J-Spec Auto Sports issues another update adressing allegations.
Update 5/26/2020- Kazuhito Miyake reports he’s consulted his local Japanese police on how to file charges against J-Spec Auto Sports’s Japan parts supplier. Several Japanese friends located the alleged company responsible for sourcing stolen parts connected to J-Spec.
J-Spec Auto Sports, a parts, cars, and, engine importer based out of Henrico, VA, is in hot water after several internet sleuths and at least one actual car owner in Japan linked parts in their stock to reported stolen vehicles back in Japan. In response to allegations of buying and selling potentially illegal parts, J-Spec Auto Sports issued a statement earlier today (May 25, 2020) recognizing they might have an issue with suppliers and they do not condone sourcing parts obtained through unscrupulous activities.
Check out their post apologizing to their customers and promising to work with the proper authorities to fix this situation.
“J-Spec Auto will be speaking with our suppliers and will be monitoring and investigating the issue on our end. Rest assured that if there were any actions down the chain of importation that do not fall in line with our company values and business practices; we will ensure that it does not become a repeated issue again.“
Kazuhito Mitaye’s Honda Civic Type R
While the larger internet dug up a handful of cars, and parts sold by J-Spec Auto Sports, linking actual stolen vehicle reports to their inventory, at least one Honda Civic Type R owner in Japan recognized stolen parts from his car on J-Spec’s site, ID’ing his parts months after reporting his car stolen in February.
In his update to Jidoushatounan.com, a website Japanese car owners report stolen cars to, Kazuhito outlines how this is absolutely his stolen Honda Civic Type R. In previous Facebook posts Kazuhito says this is a one-off vented hood modified by him so there is literally only one like it in the entire world. Besides the vented hood, Kazuhito highlighted other identifying factors like a distinct tow hook, a license plate relocation kit, clear side markers, and paint matched bumper plugs that, in its totality, does not bode well for J-Spec Auto Sport’s part supplier.
Here’s Kazuhito’s post back in February announcing his car got stolen. Included is another post informing his friends a Blue Subaru WRX Sti near him also was nicked. Coincidentally, parts from that Subaru allegedly also showed up at J-Spec Auto Sports.
Other potential parts obtained and sold through J-Spec Auto Sport linked to stolen vehicles.
Here are a handful of other parts linked to J-Spec including screenshots of owners reporting their cars missing. Note that these are uncommon aero pieces in distinct colors. The chances of these parts being linked to actual stolen vehicles is, in my opinion, quite high and not a coincidence.
This first example, a front clip from a 2002 Subaru WRX STI Wagon is particularly egregious. This Wagon was stolen earlier this year also in February, the owner pointing out the scuffed up front bumper. Here are two of his photos via the self-reporting grand theft auto site.
And here is a link to J-Spec Auto’s listing, the smoking gun, this closeup of the scuffed up bumper.
And here are a handful of other matches.
Just the tip of the iceberg
If you’d like to follow along, with user-submitted evidence about J-Spec and their alleged stolen parts, there’s even an entire Facebook group for that.
There is still a high-demand for authentic JDM Parts in the United States. While it’s profitable to sell parts from Japan legally, it’s even more lucrative for some Japanese crime syndicates (Yakuza perhaps?) to steal cars outright, chop them up for parts, and sell them to American shops at a steep discount. It’s an unethical win-win, crime syndicates profit from demand for JDM Parts and American re-sellers enjoy a higher profit, buying JDM parts at a slight discount.
JDM Parts and car resellers in the United States should do their due-diligence, triple and quadruple checking where their parts are coming from. If their JDM suppliers cannot link parts they’re selling to clean vehicles, they should cease all partnerships with that company.
Allegedly, the large majority of parts and cars from J-Spec Auto Sports are linked to stolen vehicles. With hundreds of JDM Parts importers already doing business, one has to wonder how deep a problem this is.
As consumers, question everything. If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.