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Sunday

Are Cars Flooded in Texas Headed to a Kentucky Car Lot Near You?

Flooded Vehicles Heading to Auction Yard
A tip from an industry source warns us that as many as 10,000 damaged vehicles may come out of the recent Texas floods and insurance companies may be letting wholesalers buy these vehicles so they can end up at your neighbor dealer's car lot in Kentucky.

Automotive News and Bloomberg News are both reporting that about 2,500 flooded cars, trucks, Rv's and motorcycles have already been towed to a Copart yard in Houston, where they likely will be auctioned off for salvage value to the highest bidder. Copart works with insurance companies to sell vehicles wholesale that have been totaled in accidents and floods.

Normally these totaled out flood cars are sold for salvageable parts only. But some are often bought by dealers who intend to resell them after cleaning them up.

Those dealers often move the cleaned up flooded vehicles to one or more states and then off to the local auction yard they go - where their flooded or wrecked history can often be made difficult to trace back. Many states don't use the title brand of "flood" so the brand may fall off the title records as these dealers retitle the flooded vehicles from state to state. And then they can end up on a Kentucky car lot near you with what looks like a nice, clean title that shows no history of its flooded past at all.

Thousands of Flooded Texas Vehicles Headed to Ky?
So if you are car shopping and the dealer tells you that the vehicle you are looking at "has a clean history" or even if they use a brand name like CarFax or AutoCheck, don't count on it being totally the truth. Not everything gets reported on those vehicle title history web site reports and some reports may have different info than other reports. Sure, it's a good idea to run a report before you buy that good-looking used car or truck - but don't bet the farm on its accuracy!

And if you are in the market to buy a used vehicle in the next eight months or so, watch out. Inspect carefully, have a local mechanic or body shop check out the vehicle before you buy it. Check under seats and in trunks for any sign of water damage, such as sand or dirt or waterline markings.Look for signs of premature rust. Smell for musty odors and look for mold.

And, most important of all, ask the selling dealer to guarantee that the vehicle you are looking at was NOT in a flood anywhere.

And don't just take their word for it. When they say "no flood - no way" be sure to tell them that you want them to write that on the sales contract too. And if they won't do it, then watch out! Don't buy! Go somewhere else.

Don't waste your money on flooded or wrecked cars! They just aren't worth it.

Burdge Law Office
Helping consumers get rid of lemons, every day.
It's what we do.