It would seem to me that we are only dealing with one manufacture of these reproduction tags.
HBC, Ricks, Steve's, Classic Industries are all just distributors.
Jim at HBC is either unwilling or unable to contact the manufacture to report the defect. HBC may be buying these from yet another distributor and that is the issue.
Someone selling them will know the top rung and be able to either give you the name and address - most likely in China of the plant stamping these out, or contact them on the communities behalf for the correction.
I would try contacting another of the majors such as Matt's Bowties, or camaro central that are known to have passionate customer service.