Two of last season’s biggest hurricanes, Katrina and Rita, destroyed nearly half a million cars. Some of these cars were not as badly damaged, but were completed by flooding the engine compartment and interior due to water, mud, and debris. Damaged cars have to go to the dumpster for scratches, but unfortunately some innocent people take the names of the vehicles and turn around and sell the damaged cars to the public. You need to be careful? Absolutely! Read on for more information on this issue and what you can do to avoid getting stuck in a vehicle that is guaranteed to be a lemon.
Let me say this: It is not illegal to buy, repair or sell a vehicle recovered by weekend technicians. This is what they need to reveal to you: You are buying a compatible vehicle. This is where most problems begin: Dishonest cleaners don’t share this information.
Only 22 states are required to seal flood-damaged vehicle ownership [entirely by insurance companies] with that information. So if you live in one of the other 28 states, be very careful when buying a used car [check local laws to see which group it belongs to].
An organization plays its role in fighting the problem. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) has dispatched teams to deal with local law enforcement authorities in flood-affected areas in states affected by last summer and fall. The teams listed all the vehicles damaged by the flood and put the information in a database that was accessible online. Due to their diligence, car buyers now have nearly 200,000 car identification numbers.
Auto shop owners should always invest to get a car history report from an independent company like Car Fax as a backup source to verify vehicle information. The information provided by these types of companies is not always 100% accurate, but can generally reveal whether a car has been salvaged, rebuilt, damaged, or damaged by floods. Some people guarantee your information, and if they smuggle a lemon and you buy one, you should check the individual contract / agreement before using their service.
So how do we know for sure that there are problems? Well, if Hurricane Floyd is a yardstick, the potential for fraud is huge. In 1999, Floyd damaged about 80,000 cars and removed them from the roads due to storm damage. About half of that number were repaired and resold, and most of them went to suspicious customers. You don’t want to be a victim, so be careful. If the price of a car is much lower than the book value, it may be a great indication that there is a problem, but don’t trust the price anyway, instead do your research first before buying your next used car .