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Amendment pauses Carfax bill

November 22, 2010
An April 11 amendment proposed to the vehicle-accident data legislation spearheaded by Carfax would indemnify dealers from errors or omissions in accident data reports that Carfax and others would sell.
Illinois senators on April 12 postponed consideration of the amendment and extended deliberation on Senate Bill 1839 until May 31, the last day the state's General Assembly is scheduled to meet.
Sen. James Meeks (DChicago), who sponsored SB 1839 in February, introduced the floor amendment this month.
Carfax officials want access to vehicle-specific accident data collected by the Illinois Department of Transportation. In a typical accident, police may estimate a value to any damage to vehicles in an accident. But police are not expert at calculating damage or how any damage might affect a vehicle's resale value. The legislation is opposed by several groups, including the CATA and the Illinois Automobile Dealers Association. In other legislation under debate in Springfield:
• A provision to identify liability coverage limits on the insurance cards that must be carried in a vehicle is stalled and unlikely to progress.
House Bill 1335 would have helped dealers. A law enacted in 2003 shifts insurance responsibility on loaner vehicles to the driver. The dealer's insurer is secondary on loaners and remains primary on test drives.
However, if a customer's insurance policy does not have a 100/300/50 liability minimum, then the dealer's insurance reverts to primary on the loaner. The state's powerful insurance lobby has resisted the declaration of coverage limits on the insurance cards.
• A bill to base the cost of a dealer's annual operator license on the number of new-and used-vehicles the dealer sold the previous year has remained in committee for five weeks. House Bill 280 also is unlikely to progress.
Under the bill, the fee paid to the Illinois secretary of state would cost a dealer $1,500 if he sold more than 3,000 vehicles the previous year. Dealers who sell 499 or fewer vehicles would be assessed a $250 license fee. The fee last increased Jan. 1, 2004, to a standard $1,000, up from $100, to help plug a state budget deficit.
• In addition to complying with existing requirements of the state's automobile collision repair act, House Bill 1195 calls for repairers and rebuilders to provide written estimates and have customers sign written statements to authorize any repair. The bill has passed the House chamber and is being considered by the Senate.
• The bill's sponsoring legislator tabled legislation to identify an applicant's age on an application for a certificate of title. If the applicant is under age 18 and is not an emancipated minor, according to House Bill 38, then the applicant's parent or guardian must sign a statement consenting to the application.