Could some of these flooded cars wind up back on the market?
It could be days, even weeks, before the storm-battered Eastern Seaboard dries out. Brutal winds and extensive flooding, from Maine to the Carolinas, has wrecked homes and businesses, and left millions without power, even the New York subway system forced to close.
The destruction is likely to include thousands of vehicles damaged or destroyed by floodwater. In some cases, vehicles can be repaired. But many will have suffered extensive, irreparable damage and should be scrapped. That doesn’t mean they will be.
If recent history is any indication, a number of seriously flood-damaged vehicles will wind up on used car lots and sold to unsuspecting consumers. Experts say half of the vehicles damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Floyd were put back on the road.
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“A car that’s been in a flood, with the engine submerged for any length of time, will never be the same,” said Carl Sullivan, who has nearly two decades of experience inspecting vehicles for AiM, a California-based team of auto inspectors. “It’s important for used car shoppers to know how to spot flood damage no matter where they live, because these cars can end up on a dealer lot anywhere in the country.”