Be Wary of Flood-Damaged Cars

Hundreds of thousands of cars were damaged by our recent hurricane and floods. Insurance companies are processing claims and, in many cases, declaring the cars to be “totaled”. When this happens, insurance companies take possession of the cars and their titles. Obviously, insurance companies want to recoup as much of their loss as they can. This means that some cars will find their way to market and many cars will be disassembled for parts.

Experts agree that flood-damaged cars and parts should be avoided.  On 9/22/17, the New York Times r

an a very informative story about how to spot telltale signs of flood damage and how to acquire title information that will help you identify a flood-damaged vehicle. The article also describes the methods used by unscrupulous sellers to “wash” car titles to hide the fact they were totaled in a flood.

I recommend this article to you as well as a similar article appearing in Consumer Reports.

Please remember that Texas is not a consumer friendly state. It is very difficult to hold a seller liable for a defective car that was sold “As Is-No Warranty.” All buyers should beware and pay for a detailed inspection by a professional auto mechanic.


Photo credit: davocano via / CC BY