Thursday, May 24, 2018

Resolution filed requires database of flooded cars for sale after Puerto Rico hurricanes

By on January 15, 2018

SAN JUAN – Rep. Jorge Navarro, chairman of the Puerto Rico House of Representatives’ Government Committee, announced Monday the introduction of a joint resolution ordering insurers on the island to provide details of every motor vehicle that was declared a total loss between September 2017 and February 2018 as a result of the floods caused by hurricanes Irma and María.

The representative said he filed the measure because there is an unknown number of cars that were written off by insurers as a result of the floods caused by both storms, but the exact whereabouts of these units is unknown, as is whether they have been reconditioned and put up for sale.

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What is sought “with this measure is not only consumer protection and transparency, but also public safety. We cannot depend on the benevolence of the seller of a car in disclosing the details of the history of a car and whether it was affected by the hurricanes we have experienced. Consumers must have access to this information in an official, truthful and independent way,” Navarro said in a press release.

The legislator added that “professional mechanics certify that when a motor vehicle is partially or fully flooded, vital parts of it such as airbag sensors, the braking system and the electrical system can be seriously affected. All this puts at risk the safety of not only the driver of the car, but also the rest of those who travel on the same roadways.”

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He explained that in addition to requiring insurers to provide details of the cars affected by the floods caused by the storms, his measure orders the Consumer Affairs Department (DACO by its Spanish acronym) and the Insurance Commissioner to maintain a public record of the affected cars on their respective websites so consumers can access the information before buying a used car.

“Transparency is key to protect the consumer and ensure public safety. That is why we will fight for the immediate approval of this measure and its effective implementation by DACO,” he concluded.

A gas station in Santurce, San Juan after Hurricane María (CB photo)

 

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