Salvage Motor Vehicle Law and Legal Definition

According to 49 CFR 591.4 [Title 49 – Transportation; Subtitle B -- Other Regulations Relating to Transportation; Chapter V -- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Department of Transportation; Part 591 -- Importation of Vehicles And Equipment Subject to Federal Safety, Bumper, and Theft Prevention Standards], salvage motor vehicle means “a motor vehicle, whether or not repaired, which has been:

(1) Wrecked, destroyed, or damaged, to the extent that the total estimated or actual cost of parts and labor to rebuild or reconstruct the motor vehicle to its pre-accident condition and for legal operation on the streets, roads, or highways, exceeds 75 percent of its retail value at the time it was wrecked, destroyed, or damaged; or

(2) Wrecked, destroyed, or damaged, to which an insurance company acquires ownership pursuant to a damage settlement (other than a damage settlement in connection with a recovered theft vehicle unless such motor vehicle sustained sufficient damage to meet the 75 percent threshold specified in the first sentence); or

(3) Voluntarily designated as such by its owner, without regard to the extent of the motor vehicle's damage and repairs.”