National Salvage Vehicle Reporting Program

State Issues

NSVRP strongly supports efforts to protect the public from the undisclosed resale of previously damaged total-loss salvage vehicles to the public.  We also believe that massively damaged vehicles which cannot be safely fixed should be specially identified with a classification of non-repairable branding and made available only for resale for parts and for scrap and to have those protections to the public honored even if transferred between states.

Many states offer such protections, yet from time to time economic interests who either own such wrecked vehicles or who sell them for others push legislation to eliminate such protections for the public in an effort to increase their returns on such total-loss salvage.  When these efforts to reduce protections for the public succeed, the public is harmed as a result.  In some cases these vehicles are then fixed and resold to consumers as cars with a clean history and represented sometimes as 'cherry', 'lemon free' or 'single owner low mileage cars'.  Click here for a feature article on title washing and title branding avoidance that was published in the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators (IAATI) July 2014 APB journal.

In cases where such vehicles have been massively damaged and have either clean titles or were under-branded as salvage vehicles that are 'repairable' these units are sometimes bought by theft rings for the paperwork and used to cover subsequent thefts of good cars which are then retagged with the VIN of the wrecked car and passed off to an unsuspecting buyer under this VIN clone which is the equivalent of an 'identity theft'.

In other cases the parties - including rental car companies and insurers hide the prior damage by failing to apply for a branded title, or by leaving the title in the name of the original insured with the pre-accident title still on record even though they have paid off the car.  These practices are called title branding avoidance, and usually are violations of several federal and state laws.  Unfortunately they occur all too frequently including in the current Hurricane Sandy flooding where such title branding avoidance vehicles have been resold across state boundaries without retitling, unbranded, and are then resold over the Internet, through some used car dealers and through other means.

Check out our Hurricane Sandy Page as well as our report to the FTC for more information on these issues.  Also check out our Best Practices guide for titling and branding for recommendations of state laws and regulations that would best protect the public from these abuses. 

NSVRP is recognized by the Department of Justice as an independent third party standards body for NMVTIS.  These recommendations for state law and state regulations are part of our NSVRP guidelines for recommendations for best practices in titling and branding of total-loss vehicles.

Hurricane Sandy Advisory

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau there have already been some 250,000 flood related auto claims reported by insurance companies as a result of Hurricane Sandy.  In addition to these insurance reported claims, there have been many thousands more in claims from both self-insured fleets as well as private parties who did not have insurance coverage for their vehicles. Please see our Hurricane Sandy page for updates on this important issue.
In addition to these 250,000 insurance claims flood vehicles NSVRP estimates that there were in excess of 275,000 to 350,000+ additional flood loss vehicles that were not covered by insurance coverage also lost as a result of Hurricane Sandy bringing the total flood loss from Hurricane Sandy to between a total of 500,000 to 600,000+ flood loss vehicles.  This is a direct result of a combination of self insured fleet and privately owned cars which did not have collision and comprehensive insurance would not have been subject to private insurer claims.  The average age of a car on the road is now roughly 11.5 years and more than half of the vehicles in the affected areas would not have had commercial collision/comprehensive insurance coverage.

A warning on the need to constantly stay vigilant against efforts to weaken protections for the public.....

After three successive sessions of legislative efforts, the existing protections on title and branding for damaged vehicles in Florida were severely weakened during the 2014 Florida legislative session.  At the same time, protections in Colorado were greatly strengthened when Colorado removed a blanket exemption against the branding of any vehicle that was more than five model years old at the time of becoming a total loss.