Everyone likes a bargain; especially when it comes to buying a car. So when you see what appears to be a late model car with next to no miles on it for a great price, it certainly may be worth investigating. Not just because a great bargain is to be had, but because you may be unknowingly buying a flood damaged car.
Since the flooding in Texas and much of the southeastern United States has taken place earlier this year, flood damaged cars have made their way onto used car lots across the country; even showing up in New York. Some unscrupulous brokers have taken these cars and cleaned them so that any remnants of flood damage are hidden. While this may seem ingenious, it could be dangerous for the buyer.
After all, there may be certain components of these vehicles that could be compromised, which would put the driver (and any passengers) at risk. For instance, if the braking components of a flood damaged car malfunction, because of rusted parts, a driver could find him or herself in an accident because of bad brakes. Because used car sales people are not generally obligated to report damage to cars that they know nothing about, an injured car owner may have a difficult time finding recourse.
With that said, it is imperative that used car buyers complete their own investigation into a car’s history before buying it. This means that they can review the dealer’s reputation as it is being portrayed online, or at least through chat boards and other review sites.