A Mandated Database: 16 Years Late


Public Citizen reports that a federal database will soon go online that will give car buyers information about individual cars they are considering, such as whether the cars stolen, salvaged or rebuilt. Sounds great, right? The problem is that Congress passed a law requiring the database 16 years ago.Yup. You read me right. This database was mandated 16 years ago.

Three consumer groups, Public Citizen, Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety (CARS) and Consumer Action, had to go to court to make it happen. In September, they won a federal court decision, with the court requiring the U.S. Department of Justice to set up the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System by tomorrow (Jan. 30th), which will require states, insurance companies and junk yards to report safety and other information about individual automobiles. Some states, notably California and New York, are violating the court order by dragging their feet and not providing any information, but the consumer advocates are pressing the governors in those states to abide by the court ruling.