COMPLEX SITUATION:Many have been abandoned, some for more than 20 years, because case could not be settled in court
AT a glance many may think that the state Road Transport Department (RTD) vehicle compound here is a used car storage centre.
Well, no one can blame them as a total of 1,803 vehicles, some said to have been impounded for more than 20 years, have been left unclaimed at the state RTD compound.
A check revealed that a large number of the vehicles were not claimed especially those financed by banks or other financially institutions.
The financial institutions failed to claim the vehicles despite numerous notices given out by the RTD.
Johor RTD director, Johari Yusof said: "About 875 motorcycles have yet to be claimed followed by 649 cars, while other vehicles such as vans, lorries and commercial vehicles stood at 279.
"A majority of the impounded vehicles were seized before the amended Road Transport Act 1987."
He added that most of these vehicles were still under the financial institutions as the owners did not complete their loan payment.
Johari said the situation was complex as all vehicle seized before the act was amended could not be settled in court, leaving the vehicles abandoned in its compound.
"According to the amendments in the new act that started last year, any vehicle that has been seized, even under finance, can have its ownership rescinded by the courts," he said, adding that this would only happen if the owner does not want to claim the said vehicle.
Johari said offending vehicles were normally seized during RTD roadblock operations or have been caught online under the Puspakom computerised system.
He said among the most offences causing vehicles to be seized were drivers failing to have insurance coverage, expired driving licence, not having a valid driving licence and also engine or chassis numbers that have been tampered with.
It is learned that most of the vehicles which have had their ownership rescinded will be put under public auction.
The latest was in April this year when the Johor RTD auctioned off 98 seized vehicles.
Johari said the number of seized and impounded vehicles not claimed was worrying as they are taking up the limited storage area.