The South African Motor Body Repairers’ Association (SAMBRA), a constituent association of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI), applauds a milestone Gauteng Regional Court judgement in January 2023 finding in favour of a consumer who unsuspectingly bought a previously “written off” car.

The court ruled that in aid of the preservation of the consumer’s right to be informed of the true condition of the vehicle, the dealer in that instance, should refund the consumer the full outstanding financed value of the vehicle plus interest even though the selling dealer was unaware of the fact that the vehicle it had sold, was previously “written-off”.

About The Vehicle Salvage Database

SAMBRA has been actively lobbying the South African Insurance Association (SAIA) for a number of years now for the public release of a vehicle salvage database (VSD) that will inform all prospective buyers of used motor vehicles, whether they are private individuals or user car dealers, of the status of the vehicle if it was previously insured.

This will ensure that the buyers of used vehicles have access to, and will be fully aware of, the condition and status of the vehicle. It will prevent situations such as that which the Gauteng Regional Court has had to rule on and ensure that consumers are fully aware of the condition and safety of the vehicles that they buy. SAMBRA anticipate publication of this list in March 2023.

I Need Help!

If you have experienced a problem with a vehicle that you suspect was previously written off by an insurer, you are welcome to forward details to SAMBRA and we can put you in touch with a qualified independent assessor who can provide you with an in-depth assessment for evaluation. Follow STEP 1 & STEP 2  below for guidance.

Follow the Steps

STEP 1: Read the Declaration


・I hereby declare that this Complaint is not subject to any legal action at the time of completing these forms. (These include SA Courts- and Small Claims Court litigation, MIOSA or any other legal action.)

・I /We agree on signing the complaint form that I / We will not to hold the Retail Motor Industry Organisation and / or SAMBRA, its Management or any of its staff liable for any loss or damage of any nature that you may suffer as a result of SAMBRA accepting and dealing with this complaint. I also undertake that I will NOT use any social or electronic media to defame the Retail Motor Industry Organisation and / or SAMBRA, its management or staff if the decision does not meet my expectations.

・I / We authorise SAMBRA to disclose all documents and/or other evidence received on the specific complaint to the respondent, complainant or any interested party.

・I /We agree that SAMBRA will have the discretion to disclose and/or publicise their recommendation including any supportive documents and/or evidence, as well as reporting it to the appropriate authorities, including but not limited to the Motor Industry Ombudsman of South Africa (MIOSA), National Consumer Commission (NCC) and the National Consumer Tribunal (NCT) in terms of the South Africa Automotive Industry Code of Conduct (Code).

・ I /We agree that SAMBRA will have the sole discretion to disclose and/or publicise their recommendation to media on request.

・ I /We agree that SAMBRA will have the discretion to disclose and/or publicise their recommendation on the SAMBRA website.

STEP 2: Complete the form (click to open form)

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