OATRA Outraged at Last-Minute Amendment to Senate Bill 273 That Eliminated Protections for Ohio Consumers

Association Representing Hundreds of Ohio Auto Recyclers Urges Lawmakers Not to Pass Deeply Flawed Legislation

Nov 30, 2012, 14:19 ET from Ohio Auto and Truck Recyclers Association (OATRA)

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Nov. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Ohio Auto and Truck Recyclers Association (OATRA) today expressed outrage over the House Insurance Committee's decision to substantively eliminate almost all consumer protections in a draft bill that would open up automotive salvage pool auctions to unqualified purchasers.  OATRA has raised serious concerns over the legislation and is now urging Ohio lawmakers not to support the bill, which has gone from bad to worse.

"Ohio's lawmakers should do the responsible thing and withdraw this deeply flawed bill before it goes one step further," said Jim McKinney, President of OATRA.  "By adopting sweeping changes at the last minute which can have devastating consequences, members of the House Insurance Committee have gone too far.  A bill such as SB 273 that will kill jobs and impact the safety of millions of Ohioans should be carefully considered, and the bill could have been amended the correct way at many points earlier in the process."

Earlier this week the House Insurance Committee suggested that it had a "technical amendment" to make to the bill, but then managed to instead insert substantive language that radically changed the scope of the legislation.  The bill in its current form would now have added negative impacts, including:

  • Eliminating critically important language on vehicle titles that would warn consumers that they are purchasing unsafe vehicles
  • Enabling consumers to unwittingly purchase vehicles that they do not realize cannot legally be insured, registered or returned to the road
  • Making it easy for criminals to purchase cars at auctions and use them for illegal purposes since the bill removes requirements for buyers to show identification
  • Eliminating an important tracking database that can be used by law enforcement 

The elimination of key consumer safety provisions comes on the heels of efforts by OATRA to educate policymakers and the public as to its many concerns about SB 273.  The bill would risk public safety by leading to dangerous cars returning to the roads.  It would also result in increased auto-related crimes and harm to the environment should unlicensed operators fail to properly recycle or dispose of contaminants in the salvage cars. 

The adoption of SB 273 could not come at a worse time.  An estimated 230,000 vehicles that were severely damaged in Superstorm Sandy are expected to flood salvage auto auctions and could wind up in the hands of unsuspecting buyers or even on Ohio's highways. 

SB 273 will be considered at a hearing December 4 at 3:00 p.m. at which it could be brought for a vote.  OATRA urges the public to contact their legislators immediately to urge them to vote NO on SB 273.

"I hope that the legislature will do the right thing and kill this bill," said Jim McKinney.  "OATRA will do everything in its power to oppose SB 273 and we will continue advocating for sound public policy that will have a positive, not a destructive, impact on the people of Ohio."

More information about OATRA or the automobile recycling industry is available at www.OATRA.net.

Contact: Jim McKinney (419) 747-0127

SOURCE Ohio Auto and Truck Recyclers Association (OATRA)