New research finds more than a quarter of a million flood-damaged cars are either for sale or already on roads across the country. They may look great, but in reality, they could pose a safety risk and in many cases they’re being sold illegally.
Most of the submerged cars and trucks we see during heavy flooding are declared a total loss by insurance companies. Even after they dry out, many flooded vehicles are unsafe because of hidden damage to engines, electronics and mechanical parts. They should never be on the road again.
Yet, new research from vehicle history tracker Carfax reveals more than 271,000 flood-damaged cars, trucks and SUVs are back on the market- with Texas, Pennsylvania, Florida, Kentucky and Illinois taking the top 5 ranking for states that end up with these vehicles.
“Washington state has over 1,000 flooded vehicles,” said Carfax spokesman Chris Basso. “Which puts it at about 37th in the nation.”
Basso says based on records from our state Department of Licensing, 7 out of 10 flood-damaged vehicles in our state land in Seattle.
“If you’re in the state of Washington and in the Seattle area, there are flooded vehicles that you definitely need to look out for,” Basso cautioned.
More flood-damaged cars are flooding the market because more powerful storms are creating opportunities for professional con artists to clean up and resell vehicles that are deemed unsafe. And you can’t always tell just by looking.
“We took one from Superstorm Sandy a few years ago,” Basso explained, “and in just a few hours, and for a few hundred bucks, it looked brand new.”
Before you buy any used car, pay to have it inspected by a reputable, independent technician who can identify potential problems. Regardless of what the seller tells you, take the vehicle to a third party for a top-to-bottom evaluation. You’d be amazed at what they’ll find- issues that can often help you negotiate a better price, or make you realize the you should pass on the car altogether.
You should also check to make sure there are no outstanding recalls on the vehicle. Check the VIN for recalls on the safercar.gov website.
Source: Komo News