The Consumer Law & Policy blog says that three consumer advocacy groups, Public Citizen, Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety (CARS) and Consumer Action, have filed a lawsuit in order to force the Department of Justice to enforce a law passed in 1992 that requires a national database of auto information gathered from insurance companies. The database would allow consumers to “instantly check the validity of the car’s title and odometer reading and learn whether it had been stolen or severely damaged in the past.”
Here’s what Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) had to say about the lawsuit:
“We all know that you can’t always judge a book by its cover and the same is true with many used cars that end up at junk and salvage yards. Consumers deserve to know the true origin and condition of the vehicles they are purchasing, including whether that car was once stolen.
It is simple: for sixteen years, the Department of Justice and junk yards have been eschewing their responsibility to consumers, law enforcement, and the public by ignoring their mandate to routinely file the required reports. It is about time that all parties were forced to comply with what I believe is a common sense measure to fight auto theft and to protect the public from fraud. I am encouraged by Public Citizen’s efforts on this case, and I hope that this important law will finally be enforced as it should have been from day one.”