Summary: H.R.6257 — 98th Congress (1983-1984)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (10/01/1984)

(Measure passed House, amended)

Motor Vehicle Theft Law Enforcement Act of 1984 - Title I: Improved Identification for Passenger Motor Vehicles and Parts - Amends the Motor Vehicle Information and Cost Savings Act to direct the Secretary of Transportation to promulgate a vehicle theft prevention standard applicable to major parts (and replacements for such parts) installed by manufacturers into passenger motor vehicles designated as high theft lines. Declares that such standard shall apply to vehicles and parts manufactured after it takes effect. Prohibits such standard from requiring any part to have more than a single identification, and any motor vehicle to have identification of more than 14 of its major parts. Sets forth prohibitions with respect to identifying major replacement parts.

Prescribes the methods for: (1) designating high theft vehicle lines and parts; and (2) determining the theft rate for passenger motor vehicles.

Sets forth cost limitations for the vehicle theft prevention standard with respect to manufacturers of applicable vehicles and parts.

Authorizes the Secretary to grant exemptions from such standard to vehicle lines equipped with approved antitheft devices.

Sets forth compliance provisions for manufacturers of passenger motor vehicles or of passenger motor vehicle equipment. Specifies civil and criminal penalties for violations of this Act.

Sets forth confidentiality provisions with respect to information obtained by the Secretary which relates to trade secrets.

Declares that a Federal motor vehicle standard supercedes any State or local standard.

Requires insurers of motor vehicles to annually report specified information to the Secretary with respect to thefts and recoveries of motor vehicles and vehicle parts. Directs the Secretary to exempt insurers from such requirement upon determining that the cost of such reporting is excessive to the insurer and insignificant for purposes of this title. Authorizes the Secretary to exempt small insurers from such requirement. Defines "small insurers" for purposes of this title.

Requires insurers to report to the Secretary if, in paying claims, the insurer reduces any claim payment by the amount of any recovered part subject to the theft standard.

Authorizes the Secretary to promulgate a voluntary vehicle theft prevention standard under which persons may affix identifications on major parts of their own vehicles and register such identifications with the Secretary.

Requires the Secretary to submit reports to Congress within three years of enactment of this title, and five years after promulgation of the standard, on studies regarding motor vehicle theft. Specifies information to be included in such reports and requires both reports to make legislative recommendations with respect to the standard.

Directs the Secretary, not later than one year after enactment of this Act, to report to Congress regarding vehicle security devices and systems, including legislative recommendations.

Title II: Antifencing Measures - Amends the Federal criminal code to establish penalties for removing or altering any identification number of any motor vehicle or motor vehicle part required by regulation. Requires the forfeiture of any vehicle or part which has had such number removed, with specified exceptions. Applies to the seizure and forfeiture of motor vehicles and parts those provisions of law relating to the seizure and forfeiture of vessels and merchandise under the customs laws.

Establishes penalties for anyone who buys, receives, possesses, or obtains control of, with intent to sell or otherwise dispose of, any motor vehicle or motor vehicle part knowing that such identification number has been removed or altered.

Title III: Importation and Exportation Measures - Establishes criminal and civil penalties for anyone who imports, exports, or attempts to import or export any motor vehicle, off-highway vehicle or vehicle part knowing that it has been stolen or that its identification number has been altered.

Amends the Tariff Act of 1930 to require persons who export or attempt to export a used motor vehicle or off-highway mobile equipment to present to the appropriate customs officers the vehicle and a document describing that vehicle.

Authorizes customs officers to exchange information concerning such vehicles with law enforcement organizations.