Unjust move on surplus vehicles - Weekend

Unjust move on surplus vehicles

Jerome NeriAtty. Jerome G. Neri
The Scrutineer

SURPLUS CARS. There are a lot of them. So many have been sold here in Cebu. There are cars from Japan and there are cars from Korea. However, a lot of owners of these cars are getting worried.

There is talk going around that the Land Transportation Office (LTO) will, in the near future, refuse to renew the registration of these surplus cars. It is said that these cars were illegally imported to the country and illegally registered.

The problem here is that most of these cars are already in the hands of end users, members of the general public who spent their hard earned money in purchasing these cars. There are even quite a number of them that were financed by financial institutions.

These cars were displayed at malls and used car dealerships. They were advertised in the newspapers and on the Internet. These cars were sold to the public with authentic documents from the LTO. The LTO recognized the documents as authentic and real, and transferred them to the new owners after purchase.

In short, there were no alarms coming from the LTO that would serve as a red flag to the purchasers of these cars. So, if the talk is true, and the LTO will start refusing the registration of these surplus cars, the owners of these cars just lost a lot of their hard earned money.

REAL AUTOCROSS. An Acura NSX goes through the Autocross course at the Kartzone circuit.
REAL AUTOCROSS. An Acura NSX goes through the Autocross course at the Kartzone circuit.

I am certain that the LTO has sufficient legal basis to refuse the renewal of the registration of these surplus cars. But while it’s legal, I’m of the opinion that such a move would be unjust. It would be unjust because the purchasers of these vehicles are victims of the importers of the cars who knowingly illegally imported them, and the LTO, who allowed the registration of these cars in the first place.

The buyers of these cars relied on authentic registration papers issued by the LTO themselves. What the LTO is saying now to buyers of used cars is that their own documents cannot be trusted and are unreliable. What then is the use of the LTO?

The LTO says that the remedy of the people who bought these cars is for the buyers to sue the one who sold these cars to them. This would mean another cost to the buyer in lawyer and litigation expenses.

Obviously, the registration of cars that were illegally brought is the fruit of corruption. Someone in the LTO was bribed and the illegally imported cars were registered.

Until we see officials in the LTO jailed for illegally allowing these surplus cars to be registered, the LTO should not go after the people who bought these vehicles as they are partly to blame. Without registration papers, nobody would buy these vehicles. The no renewal policy, if true, will just make the road we are traveling more crooked.

KARTZONE AUTOCROSS SOLO. This weekend is race weekend. The final leg of the Kartzone Autocross Solo will be taking place at the Kartzone Circuit in Mabolo. The organizers are promising a high-speed but challenging course that will separate the men from the boys.

This autocross series is the only REAL autocross event in Cebu. I say real because the rules adopted by the Kartzone organizers are patterned after international standards and not picked out of thin air.

The points system is motorsports based. It is very professionally organized by people who have had national and international motorsports experience. The track layout is not biased to only one type of car but will suit all cars, as there will be a combination of different kinds of corners that is well divided.

It is the only Autocross event where the race course is set to these international Autcross guidelines:

• Avoid 360 degree pivot turns (also known as a spin cone)

• Avoid narrow, walled-in sharp turns

• Avoid gates or slaloms with severe offsets and short spacing (45’ spacing; 10’ offset)

• Avoid two 90-degree walled-in turns (shaped like a “Z”) just before the finish lights (which is okay for a start, but no way to finish!)

• Avoid hitting the brakes hard just before the lights

• Cars on course simultaneously shall not run in close proximity to each other: the absolute minimum would be 75’. Obviously, the more drastic the maneuver, the more space that should be allotted. The whole idea of this rule is to keep two competitors from colliding in the event of one (or both) of them losing control or getting lost on course.

• Avoid designing the course on the premise of favoring your car, while penalizing others

• Provide sufficient input density

• Input density is a measure of direction-changing inputs, which the driver must give to the car to negotiate the course divided by the length of the course

• Good input density would have about 20 to 35 inputs over a distance of approximately 3/4 miles (1.2 kilometers)

• Track the number of DNFs for other than mechanical failure. The goal is zero: acceptable is one in 20 on the first run, one in 100 thereafter.

• Number and frequency of pylons hit. The goal is zero: acceptable is one car in 10 hitting any. No more than three for any one car.

The main goal of Autocross is to provide the competitors with fair, fun and safe competition.

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