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Accidents Happen…Disclosure Saves Lives

How do you know if the car you are buying was ever in an accident? If you are a Californian, you don't. That's why Senator Tom Torlakson from California's 7th Senate District is hosting the "Accidents Happen...Disclosure Saves Lives" press conference and event in support of State Senate Bill 871 (SB 871) - a bill that promotes the disclosure of police-reported accident data. SB 871 allows California's used car buyers to learn the accident history of the vehicle they are purchasing.

Today, consumers buying a used car in the State of California cannot access information on police-reported car accidents. However, there are 34 states that are protecting used car consumers by providing access to a vehicle's police-reported accident history, including New York, Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Massachusetts, Utah and Arizona. Consumers need access to police-reported accident data because it helps them purchase safe and reliable used cars.

"Disclosing vehicle accident history in the State of California is imperative to putting safe cars on the road and protecting the safety of our citizens," said Senator Tom Torlakson, D-Antioch, California's 7th Senate District. "Now is the time to empower Californians with essential information that will help them access information about the used cars they are purchasing. Without disclosure, Californians are at the risk of purchasing unsafe and unreliable vehicles."

"If I had enough information disclosed to me before I purchased a car that turned out to be two cars welded together, I would have never made the purchase," said Dale Scott from Sacramento, Ca. "I thought I was buying my grandson a safe and reliable car, but it ended up having such major problems. And to make matters worse, I am now stuck with a $10,000 mistake."

"I bought a used car without being able to learn the true history of the car," said Courtney Sanders from Hollywood, Ca. "Since I am a California resident, I was unable to access car accident information on that vehicle. Because of that, I've spent a lot of time and money repairing my car."

There are more than 500,000 police-reported car accidents in California each year. As a result of these accidents, 20,000 air bags deploy. And, one out of every 25 air bag replacements is fraudulent, resulting in a non-functioning airbag. Furthermore, of the 500,000 accidents, 10 percent of them result in moderate to severe damage. More than 25,000 of those vehicles are "totaled," and of those, nearly half are rebuilt and resold.