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Florida total-loss legislation heads to state senate

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March 2, 2012—An amendment to Florida House Bill 885, which proposes changes to total-loss procedures, has been approved by Florida’s House of Representatives and moved to the state Senate, according to the Automotive Service Association (ASA).

The ASA said the proposed bill would eliminate the current 80 percent threshold for total-loss vehicles to receive a certificate of destruction, and allow potentially unsafe vehicles to be branded as repairable. The amendment would also allow insurers to determine whether vehicles receive a certificate of destruction.

The ASA said it opposes the passage of the amendment for the following reasons:

•  The amendment would allow unsafe vehicles to operate on Florida’s highways. The amendment 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 amendment 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 can be returned to the roads.
•  The amendment 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 amendment 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.

The ASA said Florida repairers should contact their state senators in opposition of H.B. 885.

To view the full text of the bill, visit ASA’s legislative website TakingTheHill.com.

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