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MANASSAS, VA, November 30, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) and the Ohio Auto and Truck Recyclers Association (OATRA) expressed their deep concern with an untenable amendment to Senate Bill 273 that was passed by the Ohio House Insurance Committee this week. The amendment, introduced by Representative Anthony DeVitis, endangers Ohio citizens and further weakens the ability of Ohio law enforcement to access critical information on salvage-titled vehicles and opens salvage auctions to an increasingly large pool of unlicensed and unregulated buyers from in and out of the country.
The two organizations, on behalf of the 794 independent businesses owned and operated by licensed automotive recyclers in Ohio, provided testimony to the House Insurance Committee on Tuesday of this week in opposition to SB 273, a highly controversial piece of legislation that would enable unlicensed in-state and out-of-state buyers to purchase vehicles from Ohio salvage pools and auctions. It was the second time this month both ARA and OATRA have appeared before the committee to detail how Senate Bill 273 would abolish the protections that the Ohio State Legislature has provided its citizens for over 30 years.
As amended on Tuesday, SB 273 no longer includes many of the consumer protection provisions that were part of the version passed by the Ohio Senate earlier this year. Among the provisions that were removed are the development of a statewide electronic database to collect buyer identification information and salvage motor vehicle sales records, as well as the requirement that salvage auctions obtain and maintain records of buyer identification and licensing information to report to that database. ARA CEO, Michael Wilson, said in response "Eliminating the statewide electronic database is a mistake. The ability of law enforcement and state titling agencies to access information and track the purchase and processing of end-of-life vehicles is critical to fight illegal activity such as VIN cloning and vehicle fraud." OATRA President, Jim McKinney, added that "By passing this amendment and getting rid of consumer protections negotiated by and passed by the Ohio Senate, this committee has made a bad piece of legislation downright dangerous."
At the hearing, ARA Regional Director, Greg Bender of Speedie Auto Salvage in Dover, emphasized the important role of reporting salvage vehicles to state reporting entities and the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS). Under current law, licensed automotive recyclers purchasing salvage vehicles are required to report these purchases to the NMVTIS system and Bender noted that this reporting requirement becomes even more necessary as newly revised estimates from the National Insurance Crime Bureau of the number of vehicles damaged from Hurricane Sandy now tops 230,000. "Should these vehicles make it to Ohio, licensed automotive recyclers are the only individuals qualified to handle them. Supporters of SB 273, however, would allow unlicensed and unregulated buyers to purchase these significantly damaged vehicles, with no mechanism in place to track or regulate what is done with them." Those who were elected to promote and protect the citizenry of Ohio are looking the other way on those pledges by supporting this bill.
ARA and OATRA will continue to reach out to Ohio's lawmakers to emphasize the far-reaching negative impacts that the legislation will have on Ohio's recyclers, the general public and the environment. ARA and OATRA have particular "standing" on this issue because they represent professional automotive recyclers in Ohio and nationwide who provide consumers with quality, environmentally friendly, low-cost alternatives for vehicle replacement parts. It is the members of both of these organizations who are state regulated and as such are accountable to the state. Under SB 273, the state of Ohio would have no authority over unregulated buyers.
ARA and OATRA urge members of the House Insurance Committee to OPPOSE Senate Bill 273 in its current version. The Committee has scheduled another hearing on the bill for Tuesday, December 4th.
Since 1943, the Automotive Recyclers Association ("ARA") represents an industry dedicated to the efficient removal and reuse of "green" automotive parts, and the recycling of inoperable motor vehicles. ARA represents over 4,500 automotive recycling facilities through memberships in the United States and fourteen other countries around the world. With programs such as the Certified Automotive Recycler Program (CAR) and other partnerships, ARA members continue to provide consumers with quality, low cost alternatives for vehicle replacement parts, while preserving our environment for a "greener" tomorrow. For more information on green recycled parts, please visit http://www.greenrecycledparts.com.
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