AG warns against buying flood-damaged vehicles

AG warns against buying flood-damaged vehicles

SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Hurricane Harvey flooded out thousands of cars in Texas and Louisiana. Most will be scrapped, but some might make it onto used car lots.

That's why Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood is issuing a warning to potential buyers.

"We saw this with Hurricane Katrina and previous flooding disasters in neighboring states," Hood. "That's why we are warning drivers now of people who use a natural disaster to take advantage of others to make a buck on a car they know is not a safe ride."

If you end up buying a flooded vehicle, you could be sorry, especially after a big flood event. There are ways to protect yourself from years of car trouble.

"Anytime you're buying a used car, take it to a certified shop and have certified mechanics check it out. It's kind of hard to see," said service writer Will Tyson. "Sometimes you have to look under the seats, under the dash, look in the engine compartment and see for rust that shouldn't be there. But, anytime you buy a used car, pay a few dollars to get it checked out before you buy."

Hood said it's also important to know the difference between salvage branded titles and flood branded titles. A salvage branded title means the car was declared a total loss by an insurance company because of a serious accident or some other problems. A flood branded title means the car has damage from sitting in water deep enough to fill the engine compartment.

Another good piece of advice is to pay for a Carfax report outlining the vehicle's history.

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