MANASSAS, VA, November 18, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) and the Ohio Auto and Truck Recyclers Association (OATRA) provided powerful testimony this week detailing how Senate Bill 273 would abolish the protections that the Ohio State Legislature has provided its citizens for over 30 years.
The two organizations, on behalf of the 794 independent businesses owned and operated by licensed automotive recyclers in Ohio, provided testimony to the House Insurance Committee on Wednesday in opposition to SB 273, a highly controversial piece of legislation that would enable unlicensed in-state and out-of-state buyers to purchase vehicles from Ohio salvage pools and auctions. It was the first opportunity that Ohio's professional automotive recyclers have had to testify following the cynical attempts by lobbyists for the insurance industry to diminish the vital role played by the state's automotive recycling community that took place at a previous hearing in May.
At the hearing, Jim McKinney, president of OATRA, said current law, which has been in effect for over 30 years, has served the state well by stopping auto theft, protecting the environment and automotive consumers in the state. James Bebesi, a third generation operator of J&J Auto Wrecking in Marshallville, described how licensed salvage dealers adhere to a multitude of environmental, permitting, and reporting requirements currently required by the state in order to maintain a license and hold a buyer's card.
Supporters of SB 273, however, would allow unregulated and unlicensed buyers to ignore these requirements which would put Ohio consumers and all of Ohio citizens at risk of environmental pollution and in danger from unsafe vehicles. ARA CEO, Michael Wilson, said in a letter to Ohio legislators before the hearing, "SB 273 threatens to negate the very protections that the Ohio State Legislature has provided to its citizens for the past 30 years." ARA member George Sapir, owner of Intercity Auto Wrecking in Bedford, was involved in the debate and enactment of current law in the early 1980s and testified about the rampant auto theft problem the law was designed to address. There has been no demonstrated need proven to warrant a change in this law.
Wednesday's hearing included dramatic testimony from Cleveland-area native, Michelle Becker, who unknowingly purchased a damaged 2011 SS Camaro through an online salvage auction based in Oregon. It was not until the vehicle was purchased and paid for that she discovered it could never be titled in Ohio because the vehicle had a Certificate of Destruction title. McKinney said, "This is a perfect example of how online auction houses and unregulated salvage buyers can take advantage of the general public by selling them unsafe vehicles." Becker said she was an uninformed consumer, is out $18,000, and is stuck with a useless vehicle since she cannot title it, insure it, sell or enjoy it.
ARA and OATRA will continue to reach out to Ohio's lawmakers to emphasize the far-reaching negative impacts that the legislation will have on Ohio's recyclers, the general public and the environment. ARA and OATRA have particular "standing" on this issue because they represent professional automotive recyclers in Ohio and nationwide who provide consumers with quality, environmentally friendly, low-cost alternatives for vehicle replacement parts. It is the members of both of these organizations who are state regulated and as such are accountable to the state. Under SB 273, the state of Ohio would have no authority over unregulated buyers.
ARA and OATRA intend to reinforce these positions at the next hearing scheduled on this bill on Tuesday, November 27th.
Since 1943, the Automotive Recyclers Association ("ARA") represents an industry dedicated to the efficient removal and reuse of "green" automotive parts, and the recycling of inoperable motor vehicles. ARA represents over 4,500 automotive recycling facilities through memberships in the United States and fourteen other countries around the world. With programs such as the Certified Automotive Recycler Program (CAR) and other partnerships, ARA members continue to provide consumers with quality, low cost alternatives for vehicle replacement parts, while preserving our environment for a "greener" tomorrow. For more information on green recycled parts, please visit http://www.greenrecycledparts.com.
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