Used car shoppers need to be especially wary of “great deals” found in used car listings.
Following Superstorm Sandy, there are likely over 212,000 more vehicles currently on U.S. roads that were labelled as “flood damaged” by a state Department of Motor Vehicles. According to a report from Carfax, almost 66 percent of those vehicles are located in states near where the storm happened.
“Our research proves that flood damaged cars are everywhere,” said Larry Gamache, communications director at Carfax. “It’s big business for professional con men to quickly clean up and resell these cars miles from where the flooding occurred. Consumers need to look out for flooded cars no matter where they live. They’re a serious danger to anyone who unknowingly buys one.”
Buying a car damaged during the storm that shut down much of the East Coast has serious implications. The salt water can cause a vehicle to corrode from the inside out.
“Flood cars are a volatile mixture of water, metal and electricity,” Gamache said. “Once a car is ravaged by water, the mechanical, electrical or safety systems can fail at any time. There’s also the health risk, as mold and bacteria permeate the vents and soft parts of the interior. Know what you’re putting you and your family into before laying down your hard-earned money. Start with a Carfax Vehicle History Report and thorough inspection by a trusted mechanic.”
Carfax reports that roughly half of the vehicles damaged during a flood are resold to uneducated buyers.