View Full Version : The gubmint may have accomplished something useful for a change (new car database)

02-01-2009, 01:23 AM

On Friday a federal database 16 years in the making finally went public to help consumers learn whether the used automobile they're interested in buying has ever been stolen or wrecked. Each year, some 40 to 50 million used cars are sold in the U.S.

"People are surprised that the DMVs don't link up with each other," lawyer Deepak Gupta of the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen told ABC News on Friday. "When you get a title for a car it doesn't mean that that state has verified the information of all the other states. And so there could be a record that makes it very clear in another state that a car is junk and salvage and shouldn't be on the road. But you can get a title in, say, the state of California and it wouldn't reveal that information."

Gupta brought a lawsuit on behalf of Public Citizen, along with Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety and Consumer Action, that finally spurred the overdue project along.

The new online database allows potential buyers to type in a car's vehicle identification number to check on a used car's record. States, salvage yards and insurance companies will be required to submit information so consumers can access information on a car's past whether it was damaged in a flood, rebuilt after a wreck or stolen. Law enforcement will also be able to tap into the information to help combat auto theft or fraud.

Anti Federalist
02-01-2009, 01:34 AM
Interlinked government databases never work out for the good.

I'm naturally suspicious, but too tired right now to figure out what outrages this will end up creating.

02-01-2009, 07:27 AM

I thought there was already a private enterprise that would do this for a fee called CARFAX.

02-01-2009, 07:29 AM
Not useful. Market would do it better.

02-01-2009, 07:37 AM
As nice as this sounds, I can imagine very few knowing about it or using it.

02-01-2009, 02:16 PM
So the government has copied the carfax database, stolen their ideas, and now wants to compete against them unfairly by offering the same service for free, and they're paying for all of this with stolen money they got from you and me and carfax employees?

Score one, government!

02-01-2009, 02:45 PM
Is it worth the red tape and unintended consequences that these initiatives inevitably create? I think not.