LOS ANGELES - Investigators with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) targeted approximately 36 locations in Los Angeles County in an effort to combat unlicensed vehicle dismantlers. During the enforcement operation on October 26, 2017, DMV investigators cited 24 individuals for unlicensed vehicle dismantling.
“Unlicensed vehicle dismantling is not a victimless crime,” said Association of Motor Vehicle Investigators of California (AMVIC) President Kenny Ehrman. “Often used vehicle parts are sold to unsuspecting consumers, and hazardous waste often goes undisposed or is disposed of improperly therefore creating a hazardous environment.”
During the enforcement operation, DMV investigators found vehicles that were in the process of being dismantled by unlicensed individuals. Investigators also found these unlicensed dismantlers were illegally selling used auto parts.
During this operation, the strike team focused on verifying that businesses complied with state laws and regulations, as well as environmental guidelines. In addition, investigators conducted Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) inspections, and examined engine and license plate numbers in order to recover stolen vehicles or components and parts.
Unlicensed vehicle dismantlers operate in the underground economy and do not comply with the licensing requirements. Unlicensed vehicle dismantlers also ignore environmental regulatory requirements, insurance obligations, workplace safety requirements, and avoid paying taxes. For example, vehicle fluids can seep and contaminate ground water and defective parts can be sold to unsuspecting people, creating a potential public safety hazard.
The strike team obtained information from state and local agencies that indicated unlicensed dismantlers were operating in the targeted area. The strike team collaborated with the California Air Resources Board in accordance with state law.
On July 7, 2017, DMV investigators issued 15 citations and impounded eight vehicles in the
Los Angeles area.
During a two-day enforcement operation in the San Luis Obispo area on September 6 and 7, 2017, DMV investigators cited 14 individuals for illegally dismantling vehicles, and the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) found seven of these locations in violation of state environmental regulations.