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Be aware of flooded car purchase risk post-Sandy

Posted by Smiley & Smiley on Nov 20, 2012 10:44:50 AM

Two national consumer groups are warning Americans in the market for motor vehicles that flood-damaged cars and trucks may soon flood the market in the wake of SuperStorm Sandy. Flood-damaged vehicles should be avoided whenever possible, as their internal damage could lead to a greater risk of auto accidents.

Though the number of affected vehicles is currently being disputed, both the National Consumers League (NCL) and Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety (CARS) have recently warned Americans in the Northeast and throughout the country that tens of thousands of vehicles which have been flood-compromised may either be on the market currently or will be introduced into the market in the near future.

The president of CARS recently explained that "flood cars are ticking automotive timebombs. Flood cars are inherently unsafe, particularly since all the electronic systems that control the engine, brakes, air bags, and other vital safety systems are hopelessly contaminated and will inevitably fail."

Though it is most important that New Yorkers and residents of New Jersey and other affected areas remain alert to this risk, Americans across the nation need to be wary, as it is easy to ship these vehicles over distances. Before purchasing a new or used vehicle from a non-manufacturer retailer, please take the following step to protect yourself from unintentionally purchasing a flood-compromised car: Trace the vehicle's history using the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System. This federal government database is strictly regulated by law and will likely give you the most accurate information of any database.

In addition, if any of your senses detect that the vehicle may have been compromised by flood water, trust your senses. When in doubt? Have the vehicle inspected by an independent professional.

Source: Southern California Public Radio, "Hurricane Sandy-damaged cars may be flooding into auto auctions," Lisa Brenner, Nov. 13, 2012

Topics: car accidents, motor-vehicle-safety, superstorm-sandy

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