University of Missouri Extension

Flood Damaged Used Cars

The flood waters from Hurricane Floyd have left thousands of cars, trucks and tractors submerged. Consumers are being urged to prepare for the possibility that flood damaged cars may begin to appear on the used-car market. "These cars could corrode, be dangerous to drive and even carry disease," says Rosemary Shahan, president of Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety.

Flooded cars turn up all over the country, showing up at auctions in other states. Shahan recommends to have the car’s history put in writing, including if it was in a wreck or flood. If sellers refuse, walk away. Buyers can look for muddy residue under the dashboard, but electrical damage won’t be noticeable with a casual glance. Take the car to a trusted mechanic to check for flood evidence. The consumer needs to ask tough questions when it comes to used vehicles.

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Last updated: March 09, 2005
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