The vehicle that you buy will massively influence your overall personal safety and financial stability in the years to come. The make and model of the vehicle that you purchase will determine how safe it is in a crash, as well as what kind of fuel mileage it gets and the insurance premium you have to pay to cover the vehicle.
The condition of a vehicle that someone else has owned before is also crucial to the vehicle’s performance and safety. You need to know the history of the vehicle to arrive at a fair price when purchasing it.
When you buy a used vehicle from a dealership, they should let you know about any issues that the vehicle has and any major events in its history. However, there is a profit incentive for dealerships and salespeople to gloss over or even intentionally hide major issues like flood damage. What happens if you buy a vehicle with undisclosed flood damage?
There may be safety or health concerns
Flood damage is a serious concern because it can compromise the safety of the vehicle that you purchase. When a vehicle ends up submerged in water, parts of the vehicle typically not exposed to much water could end up damaged. Rust can absolutely compromise the safety of a vehicle, especially if it develops on the frame or at crucial weld points.
Beyond that, water introduced to the interior of the vehicle might lead to mold developing under the carpet or inside the seating materials and upholstery. Depending on the kind of mold that grows and the people who ride in the vehicle, mold development could cause major health issues for passengers and drivers.
The dealership may have some culpability
When a licensed vehicle salesperson or dealership intentionally omits known flaws with a vehicle to close a sale or charge a higher price, the buyer may have rights when they discover those misrepresentations later.
A dealership failing to provide accurate information about a vehicle is a kind of fraud that can lead to claims from the buyer. Pursuing an autodealer fraud claim can compensate you for the losses you will suffer repairing or replacing a vehicle with undisclosed flood damage.