Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    S.B. No. 822

       S.D. 1




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirtieth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2019

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health, to which was referred S.B. No. 822 entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to include flood damage and material damage to a motor vehicle's electronics in the definition of "rebuilt vehicle" under existing law.


     Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Transportation and one individual.  Your Committee received comments on this measure from State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company.


     Your Committee finds that under existing law, a vehicle that is declared a total loss can only be subject to a branded "rebuilt vehicle" title if there is material damage to its frame, unitized structure, or suspension system, and the cost to repair is greater than the vehicle's market value.  When an automobile insurer makes this determination, and the car is subsequently rebuilt, it must be branded with a "rebuilt title", which warns future purchasers that the car has been declared a total loss and might have hidden defects that could affect its safe operation.  However, existing law does not require a car that has sustained significant flood damage and likewise been declared a total loss to be similarly branded since the existing definition of "rebuilt vehicle" does not include flood damage or damage to a car's electronics.  Since modern cars are equipped with electronics and advanced technology compared to cars of the early 1990s, when the existing definition of "rebuilt vehicle" was last amended, this measure corrects this oversight by adding flood damage and damage to a vehicle's electronics to the determination of total loss for titling purposes.  This is a consumer protection and safety issue, and is particularly relevant in Hawaii where severe storms and salt water can and do cause flood damage to the vehicle and its electronics.


     Your Committee has amended this measure by updating the purpose section.


     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 822, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 822, S.D. 1.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health,