When the floodwaters subside, they often leave behind damaged cars. After the owners of damaged cars settle up with their insurance companies, vehicles are sometimes refurbished and resold. And sometimes, a middleman buyer intentionally hides a car’s history as a flood-damaged vehicle through a process known as “title washing” and sells it to an unsuspecting buyer in a state unaffected by the disaster. Electrical and mechanical problems can potentially surface later — long after the seller is gone — leaving the new owner with an unreliable car and no recourse against the seller.
How to Spot a Flood-Damaged Car
- Be alert to unusual odors.
- Look for discolored carpeting.
- Examine the exterior for water buildup.
- Inspect the undercarriage.
- Be suspicious of dirt buildup in unusual areas.