IIHS Advisories | No. 12, April 1993
New car dealers must provide HLDI results
Beginning this month, new car dealers must provide customers with collision coverage loss results compiled by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI). A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rule requires this information to be made available to prospective new car buyers so they can compare the collision claims experience of different makes and models.
Under the new requirement, dealers must have a sufficient supply of this information on hand to provide consumers with individual copies. Although NHTSA encourages dealers to publicize the availability of the collision results, it will be up to consumers to ask for it.
The NHTSA rule is the result of a lawsuit filed by Consumers Union (CU) seeking to compel the agency to implement the consumer information requirements of Title II of the Motor Vehicle Information and Cost Saving Act of 1972. Title II requires NHTSA to distribute information comparing the damage susceptibility, crashworthiness, and repairability of different passenger cars. It also authorizes NHTSA to require automobile insurers to provide the agency with insurance data to fulfill this requirement.
At their request, HLDI worked with CU and NHTSA as they discussed settling the suit. As a result of these meetings, CU and NHTSA decided not to prepare and send a detailed questionnaire to insurance companies requiring them to provide additional insurance cost information to the agency. Instead, NHTSA began with rulemaking that led to the adoption of this rule.
NHTSA recently published a notice setting out HLDI collision loss data on 1990-02 model cars that dealers must provide prospective customers. In the future, NHTSA will publish a Federal Register notice in January of each year giving HLDI's most recent collision results. Dealers are required to have the information available in their showrooms within 30 days of the notice.
HLDI has provided injury and collision loss experience by make and model directly to consumers and insurers, free of charge, for the past 20 years. A popular color brochure has been HLDI's principal way of communicating injury and collision results to consumers for some time now, and many insurers customize this publication and distribute it to their agents and policyholders. For more information, please contact the Communications Department.