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Florida total-loss legislation dies in Senate

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March 13, 2012—Florida Senate Bill 540, which proposed changes to total-loss procedures, did not pass in the Senate, according to the Automotive Service Association (ASA).

Florida S.B. 540, the companion bill of Florida House Bill 885—which was recently passed by the House, would have eliminated the current 80 percent threshold for total-loss vehicles to receive a certificate of destruction, according to the ASA. The bill also would have allowed insurers to determine whether vehicles receive a certificate of destruction.

The ASA opposed the passage of the bill for the following reasons:

•  The bill would allow unsafe vehicles to operate on Florida’s highways. The bill would require dangerous vehicles to be branded as repairable when such vehicles should not be put back on the roads because they cannot be adequately repaired to operate safely.

•  The bill would allow insurance companies to determine whether or not a vehicle should obtain a certificate of destruction. Without the current 80 percent threshold that requires a total-loss vehicle to obtain a certificate of destruction, vehicles that should not be repaired could be returned to the roads.

•  The bill would create dangers for consumers who would be unable to identify the level of damage that a vehicle has sustained. The vehicle branding would not reflect the actual designation of the vehicle as “unrebuildable.”

•  The bill would increase the risk for criminal activity because vehicles that are badly damaged would be allowed to obtain a clean title and sold to unsuspecting purchasers.

To view the full text of Florida S.B. 540 and Florida H.B. 885, visit the ASA’s legislative website TakingTheHill.com.

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