Alabama Gov. Bob Riley signed a bill during the
recently-completed legislative session that is intended to provide car, truck
and motorcycle buyers with greater assurances that used vehicles have not been
water damaged. It won unanimous consent in the Legislature.
“An estimated 575,000 vehicles were flooded during last
year’s record hurricane season and this law will help make sure Alabama doesn’t become their dumping ground,” Riley said in a written statement.
The new law, previously HB152, requires sellers of flooded
vehicles to disclose that information to buyers in writing. Any water-damaged
vehicle that has been totaled by insurance companies and then rebuilt will have
to carry the words “flood vehicle” on the title.
Anyone found in violation of the rule would face fines of
$500 and possible jail time.
Existing Alabama law requires that when damage to a vehicle
equals at least 75 percent of the value and it is rebuilt, the title must note
that it is a salvage vehicle, The Associated Press reported. Supporters
of the new rule say existing law was intended for wrecked vehicles and not
All states bordering Alabama already have a flood
designation for certain vehicles on their books.