House bill seeks more disclosure of vehicle damage

Order Reprints

Jan. 19, 2011 — A bill introduced this month in the U.S. House of Representatives would direct the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) to require more disclosure of market value and safety information for damaged vehicles, according to a report from the Automotive Service Association (ASA).

Behind H.R. 164, known as the Damaged Vehicle Act, is U.S. Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.

The legislation would require anyone who ends a vehicle contract because of damage caused by water, fire, collision, theft and recovery, or other circumstances affecting fair market value, to publicly disclose:

• The vehicle identification number (VIN);
• The end date of the contract;
• The odometer reading at the end of the contract;
• Whether any airbags deployed as a result of the incident that caused the contract to end;
• The cause of the contract termination.

The bill adds that the private sector would be responsible for collecting, aggregating and disclosing the vehicle’s fair market value and safety information, which will be accessible by the VIN.

The bill is available for review at the ASA website,

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