Those buying used vehicles in Pennsylvania often worry about rust and salt damage. When winter weather drops ice and snow on Pennsylvania streets, the Department of Transportation addresses that hazard both by manually removing the snow and chemically melting it. The application of salt to the streets can eliminate ice and allow people to drive more safely. Unfortunately, the road salt used to increase the safety of travel can actually damage the vehicles traveling on the road.
Especially if the owner of an vehicle does not regularly go to a car wash, the salt could cause rust that compromises the structural integrity of the vehicle. Many people buying used vehicles in Pennsylvania might, therefore, prefer to buy vehicles from out of state. A used car imported from Florida, for example, is less likely to have salt and rust damage than a local used vehicle. However, vehicles imported from warmer climates may have other risks to consider.
Flooded vehicles are also bad investments
The rust on a vehicle exposed to road salt may spread over time if not properly addressed. The unattractive rust spots on a vehicle reduce its resale value and may even make it less safe for someone to drive. Those buying used cars in Pennsylvania used locally in nearby states may check them carefully for rust.
A vehicle from Florida, Georgia or Texas is unlikely to have had any exposure to road salt because those states don’t see the accumulation of winter precipitation on their roads. Many used car buyers are eager to purchase vehicles that come from these warmer, snow-free states.
While warmer states may not have much use for road salt, they do still experience severe weather, such as hurricanes and flooding. Vehicles exposed to floods can develop significant damage that drivers may have a hard time identifying. Some estimates indicate that almost 400,000 flooded vehicles were on the roads in 2022.
These vehicles may also be prone to the development of rust. If those cleaning the vehicle after the flood don’t engage in proper abatement practices, there is also a possibility for mold to grow in the interior of the vehicle. Dealerships may not disclose issues like prior flooding to buyers in the hopes of closing a sale for the highest price possible.
The failure to disclose major defects is potentially a form of auto dealer fraud, even if a dealership sells the vehicle in as-is condition. Taking legal action may be the only way to recover the funds lost after buying a vehicle due to a fraudulent misrepresentation of its condition.