Alabama approves flooded vehicle bill

| 5/5/2006

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 water-damaged vehicles.

All states bordering Alabama already have a flood designation for certain vehicles on their books.