The disaster of Hurricane Irene has made the buying and selling of flood damaged cars a hot topic at CARCHEX. Scam awareness related to auto warranties is not limited to shady warranty companies or dishonest car dealers. Selling flood damaged cars is a complete rip off, and buyers need to know how to protect themselves against this threat.

Extended Warranties Will not Cover These Vehicles

If extended warranties will not cover a flood damaged vehicle that you may have bought, what does that say about the longevity and reliability of the vehicle? Simply put, these vehicles are extremely high risk investments. There are too many systems in an automobile that suffer long term damage from flooding. Among people in the know about flood damaged autos, it is pretty universally accepted that they should go straight to the junkyard.

Warning from CARCHEX: Rip Offs Like This Aren’t Just “Up There”

Before you think you can avoid this scam by not buying a car in New York or New Jersey, listen to your advocates at CARCHEX. Rip offs made from these flooded vehicles are not just happening in the Northeast US. In fact, many of these sellers intentionally take these lemons across state lines to get them retitled. This practice is called “title washing,” and it is clear from this that they are not just selling their car with a clear conscious. It is a complete and intentional attempt to hide the fact that the vehicle was in a flood.

How You Can Identify These Lemons

There are a number of tell-tale signs that a vehicle has been in a flood. The interior will have a musty, mildewy smell. So will the air conditioner, and the AC may actually blow moisture into the cabin when it’s on. There will probably also be fog in the headlights and tail lights, and you may be able to see a water line in the interior and under the hood. If you have hired a vehicle inspector, let them know that you want to check for flood damage. Many inspectors do not normally check for flood damage. When in doubt, get a vehicle history report on the car you are looking at, and make sure the VIN is correct.

This scam is not just related to Hurricane Irene. It happened after Hurricane Katrina, too. It happens all the time, all over the world. Stay tuned for more CARCHEX scam alerts.

Published in by site-admin on April 9, 2015