Automotive Culture Lifestyle

How long before an abandoned car gets towed away by MPPJ? And err…what happens after that?

Have you ever driven past an abandoned car on the road and thought, eww, look at that, why doesn’t someone get rid of it?? There are 8 MILLION abandoned cars in Malaysia, as of November 2017. In total, there are 28 million registered cars.

In Klang, MPK towed 420 vehicles away in the past six months. Shah Alam collected 193 of them in 2016 and 208 in 2017. Sepang had stored 149 in 2016 and 113 in 2017. Over in Subang Jaya, 768 were rotting at its junkyard in 2016 and 874 in 2017. Penang also has hundreds more vehicles than they know what to do with. Too bad the Kraken doesn’t live in our waters or we could make them disappear in Davy Jones’ Locker. Out of sight, out of mind.

But seriously, these cars are an aesthetic pain in the eyeballs, not to mention mosquito breeding grounds. When Majlis Bandaran officers do their rounds, they find Aedes larvae thriving in pooled water (meh that’s more than one way cars kill people). Larvae, trash, misc. life forms, drug addicts, 4 stolen cows…never know what untold “treasures” you might find.

4 four stolen cows abandoned car

Someone plis remoooooove this car already. Img from Chaoonnews

Sooo, if the owners don’t want them any more, means anyone can take it riiight?

 

Can anyone scavenge the parts of an abandoned car? $$$

mr bean steering wheel remove Screenshot from Mr Bean - Picnic on YouTube

Can sell the car parts. Img from Mr Bean on Youtube

What we wanted to find out is if any random passer by can scavenge the engine, tyres, lights, mirrors, doors, and seats of an abandoned car. These can be reused or sold for money. “Treasures” untold mah. 😉  So we phoned our friend Sean Oon, an MBPJ Councillor, to ask.

“It’s theft. You cannot take it, knowing that it’s not yours. It is not up to you to say whether it is abandoned or not.” – Sean told us over the phone

Our lawyer buddy Fahri Azzat agreed that if the vehicle was in a designated spot like on private property, then you would have sense to know not to take it because that would be trespass and theft. But if it were lying out in the open with nothing to warn others from it, it’s difficult to say there was an offence, especially if the vehicle looks like junk.

To be on the safe side though, maybe it’s best to leave it alone in case the owner still wants it. Legally, the vehicle would still belong to the owner, even if it appears to have been dumped. There could be a number of reasons why the car or motorcycle has been left there, which we’ll discuss shortly.

low yat abandoned car parts1

Found on Lowyat forum

All the same, people do take parts such as tyres, doors, internal fittings and even the engine.

On the other hand, there’s a whole sinister side to “abandoned” vehicles – aka stolen vehicles. Thieves might strip cars of their valuable parts and then dump the skeletons at some ulu spot. Some are even bold enough to leave them at traffic light junctions, flyovers, petrol kiosks, markets, and government buildings.

“Some of the vehicles could have been used to commit crimes like robberies, burglaries and homicides.” – Teoh Teik Eng, Malaysian Community Policing Executive Council Member

There’s a whole GTA syndicate lurking in the shadows and very lucrative too. You never know. You wouldn’t want the to police come knocking at your door. 😯

bad luck brian stolen car abandoned

So to answer the question, just drive on by, just keep driving, driving, driving ♫ ♪

Well, if you can’t scavenge it for parts then what’s the point of leaving that piece of junk there. Clear it away! Whose job is it?

 

Town councils will remove it. But they can’t do it as quickly as people are nagging them to

mbpj remove abandoned car crane

MBPJ officers clearing away this old jalopy. Img from The Star

The issue of abandoned cars has been covered in the media many times. People are irritated by the sight of old rusting junk and they can’t understand why town councils are not getting rid of them asap. Truth is, sometimes they cannot just wave their magic wands and make abandoned vehicles disappear on the spot, and Sean explains why.

There are TWO scenarios when it comes to MBPJ’s handling of abandoned cars. Firstly, is it obstructing traffic? For instance, the owner left it in front of a traffic light, or owner double/triple parked the vehicle. This demands immediate action and town councils would try to tow the vehicle away as soon as possible. The car or motorcycle would be sent to the MPPJ’s bengkel which is in Shah Alam.

The owner might also be penalised depending on the circumstances of abandonment. Normally he/she would be fined RM100 for obstructing traffic, but if it’s been towed, owners need to pay RM600. If it had been an accident or the car ran out of petrol, then they may kasi chan.

mbpj notice warning abandoned car vehicle

MBPJ gives notice. Img from The Star

Second scenario is where the car does not obstruct traffic. The first thing we do is to stick a notice. We give the owner a 2-week grace period.

“We need to give people sufficient time to remove it. Sometimes the owner might have financial problems, so they cannot immediately pay to repair or remove it. Sometimes it’s the mechanics who abandon the vehicle there if the owner fails to pay. People complain to town council why take so long to remove but they don’t realise there are various situations to consider.” – Sean explained

abandoned vehicle car valuable-parts MBPJ

Stripped bare. Img from The Star

You wouldn’t like it if they took your car away without giving notice and some time to deal with it, right?

If no one claims it within the grace period, it will be sent to MPPJ’s bengkel, if resources are sufficient. The council is doing its best but lacks manpower. To remove three abandoned cars, more than 10 officers have to be deployed to the scene, where some would issue summonses, while others assisted in the car’s removal. If the tyres are still intact, they can use a tow truck. Assuming the tyres are gone, they have to bring in a crane to lift it and place on top of a truck to remove which incurs more cost.

The tricky part is making sure the car doesn’t hit other parked vehicles nearby when it is lifted. And you know what’s gross? As the cars were being lifted, a StarMetro reporter saw rats jumping off the vehicles and scurrying away when she followed MBPJ officers on one of these exercises. YUCKK!

https://youtu.be/6kAGp9NIMTE

The vehicles are guarded in the bengkel, Sean told us, because if anything is stolen from the car within the premises, they could be liable. So should your car or motorcycle ever kena towed, you’ll know that it’s quite safe, wheewww.

Subsequently, the MBPJ will check with the police, insurance companies, financial institutions and the Road Transport Department (JPJ) to establish ownership. Only after they have exhausted ALL avenues can they really get rid of it by lelong-ing to scrapyard businesses usually. The money goes back to the town council’s non-operating revenue.

 

The authorities are considering having vehicle cemeteries

car vehicle cemetery graveyard

Dude, where’s my car? Img from panoramio.com

Short while ago, last November, the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry and Transport Ministry were instructed to propose solutions to this issue. They’re thinking of de-registering and confiscating abandoned vehicles for disposal, but still discussing some things like the deadline for owners, who would be empowered to tow away vehicles, and locations for vehicle cemeteries.

Here are 10 fascinating vehicle cemeteries around the world they could actually copy. Maybe the authorities might even allow owners who don’t want their cars anymore to send them to the cemeteries with a fee.

“The Ministry, through the Department of Environment (DoE), is reviewing the Environmental Act 1974 to include a provision that will allow enforcers to dispose of end-of-life vehicles in the best ways possible, without causing harm to the environment. The DoE Director-General has been told to identify suitable plots of land nationwide to be used as vehicle cemeteries.” – Wan Junaidi, Natural Resources and Environment Minister, quoted from Paultan.org

kraken davy jones' locker roll safe meme

I told you, out of sight out, of mind.

In the meantime, cilisister company Carsome came up with 4 ways you can get rid of your beat-up old heap. How about giving it away? Your car may not be Greased Lightning anymore, but if it still runs without danger of exploding, you could give it to someone who really needs it. Alternatively, you could sell it for really cheap, either online or to used car dealers. Now, where can one find help with that…hey, how about cilisister company Carsome!

Or you could sell the parts individually if you can’t find a sucker buyer to purchase the whole thing. Most times, that can yield higher gains than selling the car itself – eg. you might only get RM5,000 selling off a ’90s Corolla, but selling its engine alone will see a return of more than RM1,500, says Carsome. And then what happens to the bare frame after you’ve relinquished its parts? Scrap it lor.

Scrap it… make DIY art out of it… give it an old Viking send-off… do whatever you need to do, but just don’t leave it around for other people to clean up after you la.

NAH, BACA:
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