County of Maui identifying vehicles damaged or destroyed in wildfires
News Release from County of Maui, Oct 16, 2023
The County of Maui is identifying fire-damaged or destroyed vehicles found on public roadways and other right-of-way areas following the August 2023 Maui wildfires. To help with this effort, the County of Maui’s Abandoned Vehicle and Metals Office is requesting information from vehicle owners that may assist with vehicle identification and management.
As a precaution, owners of electric vehicles (Evs) and hybrid vehicles should NOT attempt to start, work on, or sit in their vehicles that remain in the disaster area. Fire-damaged EVs and hybrid vehicles are likely to be very dangerous. A separate recovery plan for the safe handling and disposal of EVs is currently in development by the County of Maui.
Other vehicle owners, including car rental businesses, whose vehicles were left on a public road or in a public area within the Lahaina or Kula fire disaster zones should fill out a burned vehicle form or contact the County of Maui’s Abandoned Vehicle and Metals Office at (808) 270-6102 by October 27, 2023. Those who are unsure of the status of their vehicle that was left in the public right-of-way also should contact the County or complete the form. Individuals who have already filed an insurance claim for their vehicles through their automobile insurance providers also should fill out the form and request or provide additional information, although such vehicles may be managed directly by insurance providers rather than the County of Maui.
Filling out the form will help the County to identify and document the estimated 1,000 vehicles that were in public right-of-way areas following the fires. Under federal law, vehicles declared a total loss must be reported to the National Motor Vehicle Titling Information System (NMVTIS), a national database that protects purchasers of used cars from concealed vehicle histories nationwide. The County will complete this process as part of the documentation effort.
Information collected from vehicle owners will also help the County to assist these owners with their desired vehicle management options. Public right-of-way vehicles that remain in the disaster area may be recycled as part of the fire debris cleanup effort unless the vehicle owner submits the burned vehicle form or contacts the Abandoned Vehicles and Metals Office by October 27, 2023. You may still contact the Abandoned Vehicles and Metals Office after October 27, 2023 for information, although your vehicle may already be cataloged, and possibly removed or recycled after this date.
For more information about vehicle recovery including answers to frequently asked questions, visit mauirecovers.org/recovery/burned-vehicles.
HNN: Removal of thousands of incinerated, abandoned cars on Maui begins with request from the public (hawaiinewsnow.com)