Mich. AG Offers Consumers Info on State Farm Salvaged, Retitled Cars

October 13, 2005

Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox announced that consumers can now access information on 2,532 previously damaged vehicles at http://www.michigan.gov/ag .

Cox has posted each vehicle’s identification number (VIN), make, model, and year online as part of his settlement with State Farm Mutual Insurance Company over the company’s reported failure to make sure titles show the vehicles were previously damaged by theft or accident.

“Safeguarding consumers is a top priority for my office,” said Cox. “Consumers have the right to know exactly what they’re purchasing, and this information not only protects the current owners of these vehicles, but any future buyers as well.”

Posting the information is the latest step in Cox’s efforts to notify Michigan consumers after an internal review by State Farm revealed it could not confirm proper titles were issued to vehicles it acquired from policyholders due to damage or theft between 1997 and 2003. In Michigan, depending on factors such as vehicle age and damage, insurance companies taking ownership must obtain a salvage title so that buyers are properly informed of a vehicle’s history.

In January 2005, State Farm voluntarily settled with 49 Attorneys General, including Cox, and agreed to pay $40 million to an estimated 30,000 affected consumers nationwide. The company also worked with Michigan authorities to identify the 2,532 Michigan vehicle owners, all of whom have received notice of the settlement and a claim form, and who will soon receive titles with a salvaged vehicle designation.

Consumers who wish to participate in the settlement must complete the claim form and return it by Nov. 18, 2005. A copy of the agreement and approximate compensation chart are available at http://www.michigan.gov/ag , “Key Initiatives,” or by calling the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division toll-free at 1-877-765-8388.

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