The interim Transportation Legislative Review Committee defeated a bill that would have resulted in more damaged cars being sold for parts rather than being repaired.
The NAII opposed a similar bill in the legislature this year because it would limit the number of vehicles that could be rebuilt from salvage. Before the interim committee rejected the bill, its sponsor, Rep. Joe Stengel (R-Lilttleton) agreed to change the definition of a “salvage” vehicle from 80 to 85 percent of its fair market value and a “nonrepairable” vehicle from 85 to 90 percent of its value.
“Consumers should have the option of getting their vehicle repaired, or buying a severely damaged one that has been repaired, as long as they as are fully informed as to the extent of repairs,” said Michael Harrold, NAII northwest regional manager. “Safe vehicles can be rebuilt from parts. The issue isn’t how badly a car has been wrecked. The issue is how well it has been rebuilt and how well the consumer is informed about the repairs.”
Existing law protects consumers in that they have to be informed if a vehicle has been declared salvage and the nature of the damage after it has been repaired.
“We have no objection to further disclosure to consumers,” Harrold said. “We have serious objections, however, to any proposal that will result in more wrecked vehicles being declared unrepairable. We believe consumers should be free to buy what they want as long as they fully understand what they are getting.”
Stengel is expected to introduce the bill again in the 2002 session but he may meet with opponents first to discuss their concerns. If Stengel does introduce the bill again, it will be counted as one of the five maximum a legislator can sponsor. The bill would not have been included among his five-bill maximum if the interim committee had approved it.