Millions of dollars in fines have been filed against a man in Chicago for allegedly using about 180 salvaged vehicles as taxicabs. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the cab company owner and his partners face $9 million in fines for using wrecked cop cars as cabs, making them the biggest offenders among a group of companies recently discovered to have collectively used 340 salvaged vehicles as taxicabs over the last four years. About twenty percent of the cabs have been determined to have salvaged titles. Some of the salvaged cars were operated as cabs for months, and in some cases, years.
Salvaged vehicles are cars that insurance companies identify as total losses due to the degree of damage sustained in various types of accidents, due to wear and tear, or because of other incidents such as a flood or vandalism. A previously dismantled or junked vehicle can also be considered a salvaged car.
The article reports that most of the salvaged cars illegally operating as cabs were purchased outside of Illinois and given “clean” titles through a process called “title washing.” City officials discovered that five percent of Chicago’s 6,800 licensed cabs had once sustained significant enough damage to be declared wrecks, which makes their use as cabs illegal.
According to the website of the Illinois Secretary of State, consumers should be on alert for notations on a vehicle’s title such as flood, rebuilt, specially constructed, not actual mileage, mileage exceeds mechanical limits, inoperable odometer, or salvage. If a vehicle has a salvage title in Illinois, the seller must provide the buyer with a Disclosure of Rebuilt Vehicle form. In California, consumers are typically advised to avoid buying a used car with a salvaged, totaled, reconditioned, junked, damaged, lemon law buyback, or rebuilt title.
If you are experiencing problems with your used vehicle and believe that its true history was hidden from you when you purchased it, you may be able to hold the seller liable. Contact skilled California used car fraud lawyer Howard D. Silver to learn more about your legal rights and options. Call 1-(855) 341-2611 for a free consultation.