Ohio Automobile and Truck Recyclers Denounce Efforts to End Consumer Safety Protections, Testifying Against SB 273, Which Threatens Ohio Jobs and Consumers

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Members of the Ohio Automobile and Truck Recyclers Association (OATRA) and others from the auto recycling, environmental and law enforcement communities have voiced strong opposition to Senate Bill 273.

The bill (Senate Bill 273) would cost Ohio jobs.

Members of the Ohio Automobile and Truck Recyclers Association (OATRA) and others from the auto recycling, environmental and law enforcement communities have voiced strong opposition to Senate Bill 273. The leaders testified against the draft legislation at a March 13 hearing held before the Senate Insurance, Commerce and Labor Committee.

This opposition comes in the wake of recent action by legislators in both Utah and Florida who passed and defeated, respectively, legislation that would have made it easier for totaled vehicles to be sold to unqualified parties who are not licensed recyclers. OATRA is urging Ohio lawmakers to follow their lead.

Opponents of SB 273 vigorously made the case that opening salvage pool sales of badly damaged “total loss” vehicles to the public would threaten jobs, eliminate important consumer protections in current law and allow unlicensed individuals to put unsafe vehicles back on Ohio’s highways.

OATRA President Jim McKinney told the committee that the bill’s proponents have incorrectly tried to argue that Ohio recycling yards pay the least for products and sell them for substantial gains. “The bill would cost Ohio jobs,” McKinney said. “Members of the industry are "maxed-out" on pricing and if they realize a 20-30% increase in costs, the money will have to come from somewhere, which could result in employment cuts.”

Dave Tittle, CEO of Tittles Auto Wrecking L.L.C, in Galion, said: “Salvage buyers assume all risks associated with purchases, while insurance companies and auction houses won't stand behind the products they sell. With this bill the higher return that they are expecting will come from unsuspecting, uninformed buyers who will have no recourse if they are unhappy with their purchases. As professionals in our industry we understand the associated risks and bid accordingly; the average consumer, however, does not."

Greg Bender, owner of Speedie Auto Salvage in Dover, asked lawmakers not to repeal the current law, saying: "Don't open the door for unscrupulous business practices against the unknowing public, business practices that are impossible for law-abiding and environmentally compliant businesses to compete against. Continue to hold people who deal in auto recycling accountable and to ensure the process is transparent."

OATRA will continue to strongly oppose this legislation. We encourage businesses and consumers to contact their legislator urging them to vote no on Senate Bill 273 to protect the motoring public, and our industry, and to safeguard jobs in Ohio.

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Bob Lambert

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