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Flood vehicle watch

November 17, 2010
Drenching Midwest rains in August likely means flood-damaged vehicles will be headed to the marketplace. Dealership personnel should guard against accepting flood-damaged vehicles.



Meanwhile, identical bills in the U.S. House and Senate that address total-loss disclosures have gone nowhere since they were introduced in February. The bills call for the VINs of wrecked, flooded or stolen vehicles to be made publicly available before the cars are resold.


Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.), whose home was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, introduced Senate Bill 545. But only six other senators have joined as cosponsors. Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) introduced H.R. 1029 and has secured 42 cosponsors, none from Illinois.


David Regan of the NADA said that without total-loss data for vehicles, used-car buyers —consumers and dealers—can unknowingly purchase a rebuilt vehicle. He said the problem exists because of confusing, incomplete and contradictory state titling systems and because insurance companies underreport total-loss declarations.