RALEIGH, N.C. — In the wake of major flooding caused by recent hurricanes, Attorney General Roy Cooper is warning consumers in the market for a new or used car to watch out for flood-damaged vehicles.
"Thousands of cars have been flooded in storms this hurricane season, and it won't be long before these vehicles start appearing for sale across our state," said Cooper. "Flooded cars are often shipped to places hundreds of miles from areas hit by storms, and consumers need to be on guard so they won't get stuck with a damaged car."
While there are many legitimate dealers in automobile sales, there are also some unscrupulous businesses and individuals who may try to sell flood-damaged cars without revealing the vehicle's true history.
Before being sold, flooded vehicles are put through a cleaning process that can make it difficult to tell initially that the car has been damaged. Water damage may not be immediately apparent and can take weeks to appear in some cases.
Flooding is one of the many ways that storms can damage cars. Consumers should also keep a watchful eye for cars that may have been hit by falling trees and debris and then poorly repaired, Cooper warned.
To decrease your chances of buying a flood-damaged car, follow these tips:
Consumers who believe that they may have unwittingly purchased a flood-damaged vehicle can report it to the Attorney General's Office by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM.