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The problem with buying a previously flooded vehicle

On Behalf of | Nov 11, 2022 | Dealer Fraud

Flooding is a problem that occurs all over the country. The damage caused by floods is extensive and doesn’t discriminate. 

After a flood, it is not unusual for hundreds or even thousands of vehicles to be affected. While many people file insurance claims on these vehicles and replace them, others try to hide the damage and sell them.

Even car dealerships that are aware of the damage may attempt to sell flood-damaged vehicles without disclosing the issues. You may wonder why purchasing a vehicle with flood damage is so serious. The fact is, it presents dangers to you, your passengers and others on the road.  Here are two major reasons:

Engine damage

If the water reaches the vehicle’s engine, it could damage the pistons and cylinders inside the motor and alternator. It can also ruin relays and sensors, making them essentially ineffective. This type of damage can cause essential elements to fail, which may result in your car breaking down or even causing an accident. 

Transmission issues

In many vehicles, a transmission is a sealed unit. As a result, nothing is supposed to get in or out. However, floodwater can cause the part to swell and crack. It can also corrode the electrical components. While it is possible to replace the transmission if this is the only part damaged, it is going to cost several thousand dollars, and if the problem is not found early, it could cause serious damage to the entire vehicle. 

Your rights when sold a previously flooded vehicle

If you discover the vehicle you purchase from an auto dealership has been in a flood, and issues arise, you have legal rights. It’s a good idea to find out what these are and exercise your rights to ensure that you don’t lose money because of the purchase you have made. 

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