Beware of Flood Salvaged Cars
Don’t be a victim of dishonest auto sales involving flood salvaged cars.
The General® cares about its customers who are victims of the recent flooding in Louisiana as well as other locations impacted by flooding in recent years.
We don’t want anyone to be victimized twice by unscrupulous auto re-sellers or unethical disaster contractors who target consumers after disasters. The General is a participating member of the National Insurance Crime Bureau who help consumers in the fight against fraud. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (1-800 Tel NICB, 1-800-835-6422) has established resources for our consumers including Auto Salvage Fraud tips, a Disaster Fraud Pamphlet and access to their FREE online VIN Check Service.
The NICB advises consumers that “Unfortunately, natural disasters bring out dishonest salvage dealers who don’t tell you that the vehicles they’re selling are heavily water-damaged,” said NICB President and CEO Joe Wehrle. “Consumers need to know that these vehicles may appear advertised for sale without any indication that they were affected by the flooding. As always, buyers should be careful when considering a used vehicle purchase in the weeks and months following a disaster like this.”
• Check the interior for flood damage. Look for water stains, mildew, or sand under the carpet, floor mats, and dashboard, and in the wheel well where the spare tire is stored. Look for fogging inside the headlights and taillights.
• Smell the interior of the car. A heavy aroma of cleaners and disinfectants could be a sign that someone’s trying to mask a mold or odor problem.
• Feel and listen for problems. Have your mechanic inspect the car’s mechanical and electrical components, and systems that contain fluids, for water contamination. Notice if anything feels or sounds unusual.
• Know the difference between a “salvage title” and a “flood title.” A “salvage title” means the car was declared a total loss by an insurance company because of a serious accident or some other problems. A “flood title” means the car has damage from sitting in water deep enough to fill the engine compartment. The title status is part of a vehicle history report.
• Obtain a vehicle history report. The National Insurance Crime Bureau’s (NICB) free database includes flood damage and other information.
If you suspect a dealer is knowingly selling a flood-damaged car or a salvaged vehicle as a good-condition, used car, contact your auto insurance company, local law enforcement agency, or Attorney General Caldwell’s Consumer Protection Hotline at (800) 351-4889. For more information about this and other consumer issues, visit http://www.AGBuddyCaldwell.com.
Resources for our Customers
• NICB VIN check allows consumers to identify if a vehicle they want to purchase has a history being a prior total loss or flood or vehicle theft. https://www.nicb.org/theft_and_fraud_awareness/vincheck
• Auto Salvage Fraud Tips – Signs of flooded vehicle from NICB