Proposed law raises safety concerns on the roadway

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A proposed law could put what some consider to be junk cars beyond repair onto Florida roads.

The cost of buying replacement parts for cars could be on the rise if lawmakers decide to vote in favor of a State Senate and House Bill that have already passed several hurdles.

Gary Lindros is the Director of the Florida Auto Dismantlers and Recyclers Association and he keeps a close eye on legislation that could affect his industry. Lindros says he was shocked to see the movement of two bills through several committees that aim to change current consumer protection laws.

Currently, Florida law states that if a car is damaged up to 80% of its retail value it's given a certificate of destruction.

"Florida doesn't have inspections but that was sort of a catch all," said Lindros. "It stopped a lot of severely damaged cars from going back on the road without being inspected."

Senate Bill 754 would change that. Late model vehicles with a retail cost of at least $7,500 if damaged up to 90% of its worth could be repaired and sent right back out onto the roads. However, that's to be determined by insurance companies.

"When you're getting into 90% that would mean an example of a $10,000 car having $9,000 worth of damage," said Lindros. "They're going to be buying cars that someone patches together. They might look fine on the outside but structurally, mechanically they'll be severely compromised."

Lindros says lobbyist have been pushing to change the law for at least three years. It appears insurance companies and salvage auto auction corporations stand to benefit from the proposed law.

Senate Bill 754 and House Bill 7063 have already passed through several committees, and are up for a vote in the main house and senate in the coming days.


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