Beware of Meth-Contaminated Car Interiors

Published by Nadeem Muaddi on April 22nd, 2013

The Hog Ring - Auto Upholstery Community - Mobile Meth Lab Car Interior

Remember the “world’s most disgusting car interior” that we profiled in May of 2012? Soaked in methamphetamines and a drug dealer’s blood, it was literally a biohazard.

Well, don’t be surprised if a car comes to your shop in similar condition. According to the NY Daily News, mobile meth labs are a growing trend.

While federal agencies don’t specifically track the number of mobile meth labs, total meth lab incidents nearly doubled from 6,951 in 2007 to 13,530 in 2011, according to the latest U.S. Government Accountability Office report. …

The types of vehicles that are used vary from pickup trucks to tractor-trailers. RVs, such as the one used by high school chemistry teacher Walter White in the TV drama, “Breaking Bad,” are also popular choices, Mazzuca said. [Joe Mazzuca is CEO of Idaho-based Meth Lab Cleanup LLC.]

“We’ve been in business 10 years, and this last year has been the majority that we’ve seen of these cases,” he added. “We get alerts all the time, so it’s shocking how many cars police bust involved in shake and bake.” [A method employed by drug dealers to produce methamphetamines quickly] …

Given the criminal element attached to meth making, the cars involved are sometimes stolen, Crawford said, and cops later come across them during police work.

Authorities also find the cars when the ingredients are handled improperly — causing an explosion that can seriously injure the cook.

Cars seized in a meth bust can be impounded as evidence or, in the case of a stolen vehicle, released back to the owner. …

Mazzuca said rehabbing a meth-tainted car could run $3,000 to $7,000, including the cost of replacing the interior upholstery. [more]

If a vehicle that’s been used as a mobile meth lab does come to your shop for an interior overhaul, consider sending it away – as the chemicals used to create the drug can leave behind unhealthy vapors and residue. Or, at the very least, insist that the car’s owner has it decontaminated by a certified clean-up crew before you begin work.

Personally, I wouldn’t set foot in a car that I knew was used as a mobile meth lab – regardless of whether or not it was cleaned. But, of course, the choice is yours.

For what it’s worth, eight US states have laws requiring that car dealers inform exposed parties of a car’s involvement in meth-lab operations. These states are: Colorado, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Washington and West Virginia. Indiana is also considering similar legislation.

The Haartz Corporation

2 Responses

  1. Retired…They Should Either Set It A Fire Or Dunk In A Bat Of Antibacterial Solution Or Just Crush It For Metal Scrap. If It Can Be Decontaminated Then Reupolster Whats Left. Na Just Kidding. I Do Believe The Law inforcement Who Has All The Tools To DeContaminate Should Get A Hold Of The Car First. If I Were The Dealer It Would Have To Be A Rare And Expensive Car Before I Would Even Think Of Restoring It.

  2. aunc says:

    How the heck is California not on that list? Meth is every where in CA. And has been for 20 years or more!

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