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AutoCheck - Glossary of terms

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USED CARS HISTORY > AutoCheck > Glossary of Terms

AutoCheck Glossary of Terms

 

Accident - AutoCheck receives information on accidents in most states when an official police report is filed. The level of detail in the accident record varies by state depending on the state's accident report requirements. AutoCheck recommends you obtain a vehicle inspection from your dealer or an independent mechanic for any car involved in an accident.
Airbag Deployment - Occurs when the driver, passenger or side airbag has been used or deployed during a crash or other incident. If an airbag has been deployed, new or recycled airbags must be installed for the airbag system to return to operation.
Auto Auction - Auto auctions provide AutoCheck with odometer readings for vehicles bought and sold at auction. Approximately 31% of used cars sold at dealerships are purchased at auto auctions.
Automotive Recycler - Automotive Recyclers often sell vehicles classified as "totaled" by insurance companies. The majority of these vehicles are rebuilt and sold as a complete vehicle, dismantled and sold for parts, or scrapped and sold as metal. On occasion, they also handle vehicles with no specific damage history.
Bonded Title - A title is bonded when the owner has no proof of ownership during the titling process. The bond remains in effect for three years or until the vehicle is no longer registered in the state.
Built to Non U.S. Standards - Vehicle previously registered or titled outside of the U.S. and may not comply with U.S. safety and emissions standards.
Canadian Total Loss - Please see Total Loss.
Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle - Many manufacturers have certified pre-owned programs that promote used vehicles that meet high standards defined by the manufacturer. Each program has a different certification process.
Commercial - Vehicle was registered for business purposes.
Crash Test - Vehicles used in crash tests are supposed to be sold as junk vehicles. Institutions that test these vehicles disclose this information to AutoCheck to help ensure they do not end up back on the road.
Curbstoning - A curbstoner is a person who purchases vehicles at volumes that require a dealer license and then poses as a private seller to sell to unsuspecting buyers for a large profit. Curbstoning is illegal in most States. AutoCheck analyzes a vehicle's history for specific events to determine if a vehicle is potentially at risk for curbstoning. For instance, a vehicle that has been sold at auction but not issued a new title during a given period of time. Please see the AutoCheck Curbstoning Tips for other ways to identify a potential curbstoner.
Damage Disclosure - The title issued when the owner indicates that the vehicle has sustained damage as a result of one or more incidents. The amount of damage varies by state.
Date Reported - Refers to the date when the transaction occurred.
Dealer Service Company - Dealer Service Companies assist auto dealers in managing their inventories. These companies offer data services in the areas of mass marketing, maintenance notification, unit labeling and advertising. Not all dealer service companies report information to AutoCheck.
Dismantled Title - The vehicle sustained major damage to one or more major component parts and the cost of repairing the vehicle for safe operation exceeds its fair market value. When a Dismantled title is issued, the vehicle may be used only for parts or scrap metal. It cannot be re-titled or returned to the road.
Exceeds Mechanical Limits - A vehicle with a 5-digit odometer cannot accurately track mileage after 99,999 miles because the odometer rolls over. This title is the result of a seller certifying under the Truth-in-Mileage Act, that the odometer reading EXCEEDS MECHANICAL LIMITS of the odometer.
Exempt Vehicle - In most states, odometer law requires that vehicles less than 10 years old report odometer readings. Vehicles over 10 years old are often exempt from this requirement and do not need to provide odometer readings.
Failed Emissions Inspection - The emissions check performed during a vehicle inspection indicated the vehicle was emitting more than allowable emissions standards and/or had missing or modified parts. Repeated failed emissions records can indicate engine problems and AutoCheck recommends you have the vehicle inspected.
Fire Damage - AutoCheck receives information on vehicle fires from most U.S. jurisdictions. These events are taken from the actual fire department reports compiled at the scene.
First Owner - When the first owner(s) obtains a title from a Department of Motor Vehicles as proof of ownership.
Fleet Management Company - Fleet Management Companies manage the financing, insurance, maintenance and repair of corporate or government fleet vehicles. Fleet companies are typically self-insured. Several fleet companies provide AutoCheck with the repair and damage history of their vehicles.
Fleet Vehicle - Vehicle was registered or sold to a company that manages vehicle fleets.
Flood Damage Title - States issue flood titles when a vehicle has been in a flood or has received extensive water damage.
General Comments - AutoCheck reports display important information in the General Comments column of the Detailed Vehicle History. Comments will vary, depending on the information provided by the source.
Government Use - Vehicle was registered by a public institution.
Grey Market Vehicle - Vehicle previously registered or titled outside of the U.S. and may not comply with U.S. safety and emissions standards.
Gross Polluter - A Gross Polluter is a vehicle that fails an emissions inspection with below-standard scores. These vehicles can pollute as much as 18 times more than a vehicle that passes an emissions inspection. It is illegal to drive or sell a gross polluting vehicle in California, and it cannot be registered with the DMV. AutoCheck recommends checking the latest Vehicle Inspection Report to confirm the proper repairs have been completed before purchasing.
Hail Damage Title - The vehicle sustained major damage due to hail. In most states, hail damage titles are issued when the cost of repairing the vehicle for safe operation exceeds its fair market value.
ICB - The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) Investigative Services Division is Canada's leading provider of investigative services to the insurance industry, detecting and preventing vehicle theft and insurance fraud.
Information Source - AutoCheck receives data from more than 4,000 different public and private sources. The information source refers to the source or provider of the vehicle history information reported in the Vehicle History Report.
Inspections - Many states or counties require annual or biennial emissions and/or safety inspections. Odometer readings are collected at the time of the inspection.
Junk Title - A Junk Title is issued on a vehicle damaged to the extent that the cost of repairing the vehicle for safe operation exceeds its fair market value; or a vehicle that has been declared a Total Loss by an insurer or other state or jurisdiction. Some states treat Junk titles the same as Salvage but the majority use this title to indicate that a vehicle is not road worthy and cannot be titled again in that state.
Lease - When someone leases a car from a dealer, the dealer actually sells the vehicle to a leasing company. The leasing company then collects payments for the vehicle from the new owner for 24, 36, 48 or more months. A leasing company can be an independent car dealer or a car manufacturer.
Lemon Law Vehicle - A vehicle with major problems that has been repurchased by or had its price renegotiated with the manufacturer. The state marks its official records or issues a title brand for lemon law vehicles. Laws vary by state as to the specific requirements for a "lemon". Most manufacturers issue some buybacks that are not the result of Lemon Laws but rather a courtesy.
Lien - A lien is an ownership right to a piece of property. When a financial institution loans money to someone purchasing a vehicle, the financial institution has a lien on the vehicle. Other types of liens include mechanic's liens and child support liens.
Loan - A loan is when a person borrows money from a financial institution or other type of lender with an agreement to pay back the full amount plus interest over a period of time. Loans are usually guaranteed with assets like a vehicle or home. Until the loan is paid off, the lender will have a lien on these assets and has the right to repossess them if the terms of the loan are not met.
Loss Due To Fire Title - The vehicle sustained major damage due to fire. In most states, fire damage titles are issued when the cost of repairing the vehicle for safe operation exceeds its fair market value.
Manufacturer Buyback (LEMON) - A vehicle with major problems that has been repurchased by or had its price renegotiated with the manufacturer. The state marks its official records or issues a title brand for manufacturer buyback vehicles, also known as Lemon Law vehicles. Laws vary by state as to the specific requirements for a "lemon". Most manufacturers issue some buybacks that are not the result of Lemon Laws but rather a courtesy; these buybacks are not recorded on the title.
Manufacturer Recall - Automobile manufacturers issue recall notices to inform owners of car defects that have come to the manufacturer's attention. Recalls also suggest improvements that can be made to improve the safety of a particular vehicle. Most manufacturer recalls can be repaired at no cost to you.
Manufacturer-Recommended Maintenance Schedules - Automobile manufacturers provide recommended maintenance schedules for each of their models. These schedules inform owners of maintenance that should be performed on a vehicle at specific mileage milestones. These schedules are available in the owner's manual or at Edmunds.com.
Manufacturer Vehicle - Manufacturer vehicles are vehicles put up for sale by the manufacturer. These vehicles are typically only available to dealers at special auctions. These vehicles have generally been registered as lease or rental vehicles.
Mileage Inconsistency - If a more recent odometer reading is less than an older reading but AutoCheck is uncertain whether the discrepancy is a rollback or a clerical error, then AutoCheck calls it a "Mileage Inconsistency". In this case, you should verify the mileage with your dealer or a qualified mechanic.
Motor Vehicle Dept. - Motor Vehicle Departments issue both titles and registrations to vehicle owners. Each title or registration record on a AutoCheck report does not necessarily indicate a change in ownership. New titles and registrations can be created for name, address and lien holder changes; ownership changes; vehicle status changes; registration activity; title corrections; and lost titles.
New Owner Reported - When a vehicle is sold to a new owner, the Title must be transferred to the new owner(s) at a Department of Motor Vehicles.
NICB - The National Insurance Crime Bureau is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to combat insurance fraud and vehicle theft for the benefit of both insurance companies and the public.
Non-Profit - Vehicle was registered by a "not for profit" agency or business.
Not Actual Mileage Title - When the seller certifies, under the Truth-in-Mileage Act, that the odometer reading does not reflect the vehicle's actual mileage. This may occur because the odometer was tampered with, broken, or replaced.
OCRA - The Oficina Coordinadora De Riesgos Asegurados S.C. (OCRA) is a Mexican not-for-profit corporation organized to detect, investigate and deter vehicle theft and insurance fraud for the good of its members and the public. It manages and controls databases on stolen vehicles and exported vehicles for the benefit of the insurance industry, law enforcement agencies and the public. OCRA obtains vehicle information entirely from other sources and relies on those sources for the accuracy and reliability of this information. Therefore, OCRA accepts no responsibility or liability for any error or omission in this report. OCRA is proud to assist AutoCheck customers in their efforts to better understand a vehicle's history.
Odometer Rollback - If a more recent odometer reading is less than an older reading, then the odometer may have been tampered with and "rolled back." The odometer readings triggering Potential Odometer Rollbacks are collected by a DMV or other verified source.
Private Use - Vehicle was registered by the owner for private or personal use.
Rebuilt/Reconstructed Title - A Rebuilt/Reconstructed vehicle is a salvage vehicle that has been repaired and restored to operation. These vehicles are often severely damaged before they are rebuilt and refurbished parts are typically used during reconstruction. In most states, an inspection of the vehicle is required before the vehicle is allowed to return to the road.
Relocation - When a vehicle is moved from one state to another with no change of ownership.
Rental - Vehicle was registered by a rental agency.
Repossession - When a repossession occurs a vehicle owner fails to make loan payments, and the financial institution holding the title takes possession of the vehicle.
Salvage Auction Record - Most vehicles sold at Salvage auctions were declared totaled by insurance companies. Most of these vehicles have sustained significant damage but there are some exceptions. For instance, recovered stolen vehicles are often declared a total loss regardless of the actual damage. Rebuilders and Recyclers purchase these vehicles at auction with intentions to rebuild them or dismantle them for parts.
Salvage Title - A Salvage Title is issued on a vehicle damaged to the extent that the cost of repairing the vehicle for safe operation exceeds its fair market value; or a vehicle that has been declared a Total Loss by an insurer or other state or jurisdiction. Some states treat Junk titles the same as Salvage but the majority use this title to indicate that a vehicle is not road worthy and cannot be titled again in that state. The following ten States also use Salvage titles to identify stolen vehicles - AZ, FL, GA, IL, MN, NJ, NM, NY, OK and OR.
Service Plan Company - Service Plan Companies market extended warranty plans to buyers of both new and used cars as mechanical breakdown insurance. Information is collected from service plan companies when they issue contracts and when they pay repair claims. Not all service plan companies report information to AutoCheck.
Taxi - Vehicle was registered as a taxi or "for hire" vehicle.
Title Issued - A state issues a title to provide a vehicle owner with proof of ownership. Each title has a unique number. Each title or registration record on a AutoCheck report does not necessarily indicate a change in ownership. In Canada, a registration and bill of sale are used as proof of ownership.
Total Loss - An insurance company declares a vehicle a total loss when a claim exceeds the full value of the vehicle. Insurance companies typically take possession and obtain the title of such vehicles. AutoCheck receives Canadian total loss information from the Insurance Bureau of Canada. A Canadian vehicle declared a total loss often requires a technical inspection before it can return to the road.
Truth-in-Mileage Act - The Truth in Mileage Act (TIMA) of 1986 requires a seller to disclose the vehicle's mileage on the title when ownership is transferred. Congress enacted this Act to prohibit odometer tampering and to protect consumers from mileage fraud. Under this act, sellers must disclose any issues with the vehicle's odometer. These disclosures translate into the Exceed Mechanical Limits and Not Actual Mileage titles.
U.S. Privacy Laws - The U.S. Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) of 1994, among other laws, restricts the use of personal information such as name and address, to specific purposes. It has therefore always been AutoCheck's policy to focus its reporting on vehicles, not people.
Vehicle ID No. (VIN) - This 17 character number is unique to each vehicle. It identifies characteristics of the vehicle, including manufacturer, year, model, body, engine specifications, and serial number.
Vehicle Sold With Damage - Several companies provide data to AutoCheck about their fleets. To disclose the true condition of the vehicle, these companies occasionally sell vehicles from their fleets with damage rather than undertake the repairs themselves.

 

 

 

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