Federal Issues Page
Federal Odometer Act- One of the most significant protections for the public in the commerce of used cars is the Federal Odometer Act. Initially created in 1986 under the formal title of the Truth in Mileage Act (TIMA), the Act covered vehicles for the first 25 years after production. However, in 1994 the rule was modified, and the coverage was reduced to 10 model years. By 2020 the average age of a vehicle on the road was nearly 12 years and the value of the Act at that point was significantly reduced for the public protection. This is especially true since excess undisclosed mileage on older vehicles was more likely to be a serious problem for durability and useful remaining life. NSVRP among other parties requested that NHTSA reconsider this coverage limitation and restore the coverage of the Act to the original model year range. In 2011 and 2014 NSVRP requested that NHTSA reconsider restoring the coverage of the Federal Odometer Act to its original years of coverage. In 2016 NHTSA accepted the request and posted a notice of preliminary rule-making to consider changes in TIMA. In late 2019 NHTSA posted the new rule which restored coverage to 20 model years starting with all vehicles of model year 2011 and newer. (This avoiding retroactively applying the restored reporting to vehicles that had already been exempted from reporting and thereby would have made them retroactively in violation of the Act). The Federal Odometer Act (TIMA) contains two sets of provisions. The first places a federal requirement 'upon transfer' of all covered vehicles less that 20 model years old - at the time of transfer and regardless of by what means, and without exception - with the printed name, date, signed names of the transferor and for the transferor to provide a declaration of mileage disclosure. The disclosure must either be the true mileage if it is known, or a statement that the mileage is unknown at the time of transfer. The second places a requirement upon the transferee at the time of transfer to print their name, sign and date the odometer disclosure document. This obligation applies even in cases where a state jurisdiction allows for vehicle transfers to take place without other reporting and even where states allow for transfer to take place under 'title-less' transfers. The implications of the restoration of TIMA to cover 20 model years extend well beyond falsifying odometer reads, and also makes title skipping and hiding transfers a violation of the Act. Odometer disclosure final rule 2019-20360
NSVRP has submitted comments in response to the FTC supplemental notice of request for public comments to the Used Car Rule. These comments can be view via this link. The NSVRP comment is available by clicking on this link here. The FTC used car rule has the potential for greatly strengthening protections for consumers. The open comment period will end on March 17, 2015. NSVRP recommends that you review the posted preliminary rule, the public comments that have already been submitted, and that you consider submitting any comments on your own if you have input you wish to make to the FTC for consideration in their rules making process.
NHTSA Grow America and Safety Recall Initiative-
NSVRP has provided comments in response to a posting by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of proposed legislation that includes improvements to the safety recall process and important restrictions on the rental and sale of vehicles which have critical unrepaired safety recall problems. NSVRP has submitted comments regarding the proposed enhanced protections and recommendations for additional methods for enhancing those protections for the public through better dissemination of those warnings. Click on this link for a copy of the NSVRP comments.
NSVRP urges the vehicle manufacturers to take every possible effort to post open recall information to their websites as soon as the open recall information has been identified for each vehicle and to make every possible effort to contact all individuals who presently own vehicles that they have manufactured and which have open safety recalls even when such vehicles are no longer owned by the original buyer of that vehicle from one of their franchise dealers. Manufacturers should not limit their efforts to contact consumers to their in-house name and address database in cases where they have been unable to make contact with the current owners. NSVRP further urges the manufacturers to encourage their dealers to forward to the manufacturers the information on all completed recall repairs as soon as the repairs have been completed, for the manufacturers to process the individual dealer recall service repair files as soon as they have been received from the dealers, and for the manufacturers to then update their open recall status systems immediately upon confirming with the dealer network that the repair has satisfactorily been completed.
NSVRP has submitted comments to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regarding their 2016 notice of preliminary rule making (NPRM) for electronic odometer reporting. NSVRP has long advocated a restoration of the original 25 year odometer reporting obligations to reverse a 10 year exemption that was introduced in a supplemental rule and that weakened the original reporting obligation. As the age of vehicle retention has continually increased, and since now the average age of a vehicle on the road exceeds 11 model years, more vehicles are exempted from reporting than are subject to odometer reporting. Furthermore, it is these older vehicles for which proper mileage reporting is more significant than on newer vehicles. The federal odometer reporting requirements also provide an important federal legal deterrent to the practice of 'title skipping' - which is a practice where some ownership changes are not reported - and which is often used to circumvent legally required ownership transfers that are often associated with accident total loss events. Title skipping hides the identity of intermediate transfer parties and can occur either where there are state transfer reporting exemptions or through non-compliance with existing state title transfer reporting requirements. The importance of a transparent and complete recording and reporting of all vehicle transfers is also of critical importance for enhancing the effectiveness of safety recall completions. With the eventual imposition of mandatory electronic titling and electronic odometer recording once all vehicle transfers are immediately reported many existing problems with undocumented transfers, hidden total-loss events and related vehicle transfers would be greatly reduced or eliminated. Click on this link for a copy of the NSVRP comments. (Note- Refer to the NSVRP States' Issues page for a discussion and link to our article on state sanctioned title washing and title branding avoidance first published in the July 2014 International Association of Auto Theft Investigators APB Journal).