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    ·New Legislation Calls for Disclosure of Dangerous Flooded and Wrecked Vehicles
    ·State Farm's Review
    ·States Reach Agreement with State Farm Insurance that Will Result in $40 Million
    ·State Farm® Efforts to Resolve Salvage Vehicle Titling Issues
    ·Fraudulent Sale of Vehicles Damaged by Hurricane Katrina's Floodwaters and Winds
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      Vehicle History Report,  Vehicle History Vehicle History Report: New Legislation Calls for Disclosure of Dangerous Flooded and Wrecked Vehicles

    New Legislation Calls for Disclosure of Dangerous Flooded and Wrecked Vehicles

    Bill Would Bring Added Safety and Economic Benefits to Driving Public and Carbuyers

    WASHINGTON, Aug. 3 -- Efforts by the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) to make America's roadways safer by protecting consumers from purchasing flood and salvage vehicles took a big step forward when a senior lawmaker introduced legislation (S. 3707) that would require insurance companies to make total-loss information commercially available to the public. The text of the bill, which NADA strongly supports, became available today.

    Approximately five million vehicles were "totaled" by insurance companies last year due to extensive damage, flooding or theft. But thousands of these "totaled" vehicles are rebuilt and then sold, with clear titles, to unsuspecting customers. This problem grew dramatically worse with the estimated 500,000 vehicles damaged by Hurricane Katrina. There is evidence that many of these flood-damaged vehicles are now returning to the marketplace.

    "This is a double-hit on consumers: it's a public health risk because more unsafe cars are on the road, and it's a pocketbook risk because people could overpay for a wreck that should be in the junkyard," said David Regan, NADA Vice President for Legislative Affairs.

    "Dealers don't want these wrecks on their lots any more than a mother would want to drive her children around in one," Regan added.

    The bill's sponsor, Senator Trent Lott (R-MS), Chairman of the influential Surface Transportation Subcommittee of the Senate Commerce Committee, noted in his weekly column that his legislation "will make available to consumers information about automobiles declared a 'total loss' by insurance companies. This legislation is particularly needed in Katrina's wake, but it's hardly a new problem. Even without the influx of Katrina-damaged cars, thousands of wrecked, flooded or stolen automobiles are sold every year with clean titles to unsuspecting consumers."

    The NADA-supported approach is simple and uses existing technology to focus on the VINs (Vehicle Identification Numbers) of totaled vehicles. This approach is preferable to the complicated and controversial effort in past years to enact a uniform national salvage title. The simple solution requires auto insurance companies to make commercially available the following VIN- based information that they already collect: the date of total loss; the primary reason for total loss (i.e. damaged, flooded, stolen); and the odometer reading on the date of total loss. None of this VIN-based data would include any personal identifiers protected by Federal and state privacy laws.

    Despite repeated attempts to curb salvage title fraud, this problem persists because state motor vehicle titling laws are confusing and incomplete. No public database exists to "red flag" all of the problem vehicles. In 2005, State Farm admitted to having resold 30,000 totaled vehicles over several years without salvage titles. In a 2001 Iowa case, Progressive Insurance acknowledged a similar practice on a much smaller scale. Buyers do not have enough timely access to title data at DMVs or total-loss data at insurance companies.

    "This legislation is a big plus for consumers. It would "red-flag" totaled vehicles forever and would help combat title washing and fraud," Regan said.

      Posted by Cars on Thursday, August 03 @ 15:35:40 UTC (14425 reads)
    Read More... | 3956 bytes more | Score: 1.75

      Cars Vehicle History Report: Audi Looks to Set Sales Records in U.S. and Worldwide

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich., July 17 -- Audi is positioned to set
    a sales record both in the United States and worldwide if the first half of
    2006 is any indication. In the U.S., both new vehicle and Certified
    Pre-Owned (CPO) sales are ahead of last year's pace.

    Through June, Audi of America, Inc. sales increased 7.3 percent over
    the first half of 2005. New car sales figures for the first half of 2006
    were released June 1 and totaled 40,455 units. Robust sales of the A3, A4,
    A6 and Audi Q7 model lines have helped contribute to the record sales pace.

    AUDI AG recently announced that worldwide sales through June reached
    463,500 units, a 9.8 percent increase over 2005's record setting

    "Audi has made great progress during 2006," said Johan de Nysschen,
    Executive Vice President of Audi of America, Inc. "U.S. consumer and media
    reaction to our new vehicles has been outstanding, and we are on course to
    set a sales record this year. Sales in the United States alone has
    accounted for nearly nine percent of AUDI AG's worldwide sales this year.
    With the Audi Q7 performance SUV now on sale -- a vehicle specifically
    designed for the U.S. market -- I think we can make an even larger
    contribution to company's global growth."

    CPO sales in the U.S. have also reached record levels. With 12,178
    total sales, Audi CPO sales increased 5.0 percent over last year. The
    majority of Audi CPO sales have been to customers in the west and east
    coasts, yet the southern and central regions have shown impressive gains of
    22.0 percent and 7.0 percent respectively over 2005 CPO sales. A4 models
    show the largest increase for 2006 with 5,682 CPO sales, a 6.7 percent
    increase over last year. A8 CPO sales have also been strong at 487 units, a
    3.2 percent increase.

    Audi's history in America dates to 1969, when the brand was first
    introduced to the U.S. market. Today, a network of over 260 Audi dealers
    currently offers a line of premium vehicles that include the nimble Audi
    A3; the sporty A4 sedan, Avant and Cabriolet models; the high performance
    S4 sedan, Avant and Cabriolet models; the high-revving RS 4 sports sedan;
    the design-leading A6 sedan and Avant; the all-new Audi Q7 performance SUV;
    the all-aluminum Audi A8; and the award-winning TT Coupe and Roadster.
      Posted by Cars on Monday, July 17 @ 17:35:31 UTC (7708 reads)
    Read More... | 2557 bytes more | Score: 1

      Vehicle History Report,  Vehicle History Vehicle History Report: State Farm's Review

    In view of the variety of state laws and resulting challenges insurers face in the proper titling of vehicles, State Farm saw a need to review claim files involving vehicles it acquired in the settlement of total loss auto insurance claims. The review was conducted to ensure compliance with state branded vehicle titling laws, and has produced some significant finds to-date:

    It has reaffirmed the need for uniform definitions and procedures regarding the titling and registration of salvage, non-repairable, flood, and rebuilt vehicles designated as total losses as an important step toward deterring vehicle theft and consumer fraud.
  • It has further reinforced the need to work with regulators and legislators toward public policy changes that will bring about better uniformity in branded vehicle title laws.
  • It has helped State Farm identify vehicles for which branded titles may have been required but cannot be confirmed, and prompted the company to implement a process to better ensure they are appropriately titled.
  • It has allowed State Farm to confirm substantial compliance with these complex rules and regulations.
  • It has helped State Farm better manage branded vehicle titling issues, as the company continues to pursue establishment of uniform titling laws among the states.
      Posted by Cars on Tuesday, July 04 @ 22:44:06 UTC (7424 reads)
    Read More... | 1571 bytes more | Score: 1

      Vehicle History Report,  Vehicle History Vehicle History Report: States Reach Agreement with State Farm Insurance that Will Result in $40 Million

    States Reach Agreement with State Farm Insurance that Will Result in $40 Million to Consumers

    DES MOINES.    Attorney General Tom Miller announced today that Iowa and 48 other states plus the District of Columbia have reached an innovative agreement with State Farm Mutual Insurance Company that will result in $40 million in compensation to thousands of car, SUV, and truck owners nationwide.

    Miller said that after titling research is complete an estimated 30,000 consumers nationwide may be eligible for payments ranging from about $400 up to over $10,000, depending primarily on the current average value of their vehicle, and the number of consumers who participate in the compensation program. The states believe most payments are likely to range from $800 to $1850.

    Miller said the agreement resulted after State Farm approached the states and indicated that, after an internal review, in a small percentage of cases it was unable to confirm that it had properly titled vehicles it had taken ownership of from policyholders due to damage or theft. Miller led the 8-state executive committee of attorneys general who negotiated the settlement.

    In most states, depending on factors such as vehicle age and extent of damage, insurance companies taking ownership in such situations must obtain "branded titles," indicating the vehicles are "salvage," "damaged," or similarly-named titles (states use various nomenclature for such vehicles.) State Farm's records showed that it had properly titled approximately 2.4 million vehicles in recent years that may have required a "branded title," but that it could not confirm whether a much smaller number may not have been properly titled. Payment will go to the current owners of vehicles that may require branded titles.
      Posted by Cars on Tuesday, July 04 @ 22:33:59 UTC (10587 reads)
    Read More... | 8527 bytes more | Score: 1.8

      Vehicle History Report,  Vehicle History Vehicle History Report: State Farm® Efforts to Resolve Salvage Vehicle Titling Issues

    States Reach Agreement with State Farm Insurance that Will Result in $40 Million to Consumers

    State Farm® Insurance reached out to and has been working closely with state Attorneys General to resolve complex issues regarding the titling of vehicles it acquired in the processing of total loss auto insurance claims.  State Farm is committed to compliance with all state laws.

    State Farm handles in excess of 6 million auto physical damage claims involving vehicle damage or theft each year, and routinely evaluates its claim handling procedures.  A recent State Farm review identified a relatively small number of vehicles for which State Farm could not confirm that a branded title was obtained as may have been required. 

    The diversity among state vehicle titling laws makes it extremely difficult for insurers to comply with branded title requirements.  This problem is compounded because vehicles move from state to state, and it is often difficult to determine which state's laws apply.

    What State Farm Is Doing about Salvage Title Compliance
    With the assistance of state Attorneys General and Departments of Motor Vehicles, State Farm has worked to confirm branded title compliance for those vehicles for which it could not confirm that a branded title was obtained as may have been required by law.  To compensate any affected vehicle owners, State Farm will pay a total of $40 million as part of the agreement reached with State Attorneys General. Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller issued a news release* on Jan. 10 announcing the agreement between State Farm and state Attorneys General, and commending State Farm for its proactive efforts.
      Posted by Cars on Tuesday, July 04 @ 22:27:38 UTC (11765 reads)
    Read More... | 1985 bytes more | Score: 1

      Vehicle History Report,  Vehicle History Vehicle History Report: Fraudulent Sale of Vehicles Damaged by Hurricane Katrina's Floodwaters and Winds

    NICB Launches Effort to Prevent Fraudulent Sale of Vehicles Damaged by Hurricane Katrina's Floodwaters and Winds

    Special insurance industry
    teams will be assisting law enforcement and insurance companies in identifying
    and cataloging vehicles damaged by Hurricane Katrina to prevent their
    fraudulent resale to unsuspecting consumers in the future.

        Robert M. Bryant, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National
    Insurance Crime Bureau announced today that he is dispatching special
    catastrophe teams to Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Mobile, Alabama. The effort is
    expected to last from six months to a year.

        Authorities estimate that thousands of vehicles have received damage from
    flooding in the New Orleans area alone.  That number is expected to grow as
    claims from Mississippi are processed.

    Bryant explained that unscrupulous salvage operators and dealers often try
    to conceal the fact that vehicles have been damaged by a natural disaster from
    potential buyers.

        "By creating a registry of damaged vehicles now, the potential for this
    type of fraud can be greatly reduced," he said.
        In addition to vehicles, NICB is also alerting disaster victims to be
    aware of the potential for fraud that exists as efforts to repair and rebuild
    get underway.

      Posted by Cars on Friday, September 09 @ 10:31:33 UTC (14049 reads)
    Read More... | 2404 bytes more | Score: 1

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