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2nd federal bill mulls vehicle total-loss disclosure

November 18, 2010

The sponsor of a U.S. House bill to mandate disclosing information on the fair market value and safety of damaged cars said he would try to bring the bill to the House floor during next month’s lame-duck session if his colleagues demonstrate sufficient support. 

Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) introduced H.R. 6093, the Damaged Vehicle Information Act, on Sept. 19. It would require details about totaled vehicles to be sent immediately to vehicle history databases—available to the public—so that consumers are given more complete information regarding rebuilt wrecks and stolen and flooded cars.


For each affected vehicle, the database would identify the VIN; the date of total loss; the primary reason for total loss (i.e., damaged, flooded, stolen); and odometer reading on the date of total loss. None of the VIN-based data would include any personal identifiers protected by federal and state privacy laws. 

"This is information that insurance companies already collect," said Stearns. He said Hurricane Katrina highlighted the problem of flooded and damaged cars being improperly sold.


Senate Bill 3707 also gives consumers more access to vehicle-loss data held by insurance companies.