SA’s used-car buyers will soon be able to avoid write-off ‘death traps

SA’s used-car buyers will soon be able to avoid write-off ‘death traps
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Times Live has reported (24th February 2022) that the The South African Insurance Association (SAIA) has agreed to make its vehicle salvage database (VSD) public after lobbying by the South African Motor Body Repairers’ Association (SAMBRA).

The VIN numbers of all previously insured written-off vehicles will be published on an open website for consumers to use.

SAMBRA has pursued this matter to stop the practice of written-off cars being rebuilt and put back into circulation by unscrupulous repairers, to be purchased by unsuspecting consumers.

The insurance industry has now agreed in principle to make its VSD public, backed by a comprehensive communication programme to make consumers aware of the site.

Originally, SAIA opposed making the VSD public, reasoning that it would contravene the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA). It said that “the VSD was created to combat crime, and if it were made public, criminals would have access to it, which could see a dramatic increase in false financing and insurance of cloned vehicles”.

SAIA now appear to have made a turnaround, and have agreed in principle to make public the VSD. This reportedly came about after meeting with the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI) and various other relevant parties including the Insurance Crime Bureau (ICB) and Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC).

At this stage, the official release date of the VSD has not been confirmed however SAIA says it will deliberate on the proposed way forward at its next board meeting on March 10.

This article was adapted from an original by Denis Droppa from Times Live online.