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South Dakota Bill Would Increase Damage Disclosure Threshold

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The South Dakota House of Representatives is considering a bill (S.B. 98) that would increase the damage disclosure threshold for the sale of motor vehicles and boats. The minimum would change from $5,000 to 40 percent of the vehicle’s value or $8,000, whichever value is lower.

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The bill’s proponents, including representatives from the insurance industry and the South Dakota Auto Body Association (SDABA), believe that increased prices for new cars, parts and labor warrant the increase.

“It doesn’t take a whole lot to get to $5,000,” Peter Stemper of the SDABA noted at a hearing for the bill.

However, the bill’s opponents say that $8,000 is too high of a value and that the 40 percent provision could complicate matters, as it may be difficult to find a vehicle’s value if damage occurred several years ago.

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Rod Woelfel, treasurer of the South Dakota Independent Auto Dealers Association (SDIADA), told the Argus Leader that he’s worried the increased threshold could entice people from other states to bring damaged vehicles to South Dakota to sell.

“It opens it up for unscrupulous people to come in and take advantage of the system,” he said.

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