WASHINGTON (Jan. 19, 2011) — The Automotive Service Association (ASA) is urging its members to review H.R. 164, the Damaged Vehicle Information Act, which would require greater disclosure of information relating to vehicles resold after being damaged.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., directs the Secretary of Transportation to issue a regulation requiring all persons who terminate a vehicle contract because of flood or water damage, collision, fire damage, theft or other circumstances that reduce the value of the vehicles to provide electronically accessible information about those vehicles.
That information, the bill states, must include:
- The vehicle identification numbers (VINs);
- The date of the contract termination;
- The odometer reading of each vehicle at the time the contract was terminated;
- The cause of the contract termination; and
- Whether one or more airbags were deployed.
The private sector would be responsible for collecting, aggregating and disclosing the information and making it accessible to the public by VIN, the bill says.
There is already a government website, the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System, that is more comprehensive and up-to-date and less expensive than some private sector reports, the ASA said in a press release. The system was established in January 2009, and requires insurance companies and salvage yards to report vehicles that are severely damaged or totaled.
Interested parties may view H.R. 164 via links on the ASA legislative website. The bill has been referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where no hearings have yet been scheduled.