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Tue Oct 3, 2017, 02:57 PM

Virginia Officials Warning About Buying Hurricane-Damaged Vehicles

Virginia Officials Warning About Buying Hurricane-Damaged Vehicles

by Katie Pyzyk October 3, 2017 at 11:30 am

The recent spate of major hurricanes making landfall in the U.S. has raised the possibility of flood-damaged vehicles making their way up to the local used car market, Virginia officials warn.

Hundreds of thousands of vehicles are thought to have been damaged by hurricane-related flooding. That has prompted warnings from Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles and attorney general.

Although Virginia state law requires owners to report water damage when selling their vehicle, not everyone does. The AG and DMV have released guidelines of what to watch for when purchasing a used vehicle.

Their full statement is below.

RICHMOND (October 3, 2017) – Attorney General Mark R. Herring and the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) are urging customers in the market for a new or used car to be on the lookout for vehicles with water damage in the wake of massive flooding caused by a recent onslaught of hurricanes that has damaged or destroyed countless vehicles.

“All Virginians purchasing a used car directly from another individual should have the vehicle inspected by a mechanic, but that advice is even more pertinent in the wake of massive flooding when the risk of purchasing a water-damaged car increases,” said Attorney General Mark Herring. “Virginians need to be on the lookout for signs of water damage when purchasing a vehicle, and should always trust their instincts – if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.”

“Nearly one-out-of-three car sales occurs directly between individuals,” DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb said. “The dangers of water-damaged cars can be hidden. Aside from mold and rust, electrical systems could erode and fail over time. Computer sensors could be damaged and safety protections like air bags could fail in a crash.”

State law requires water damage to be reported on a vehicle’s title; however, dishonest sellers can find ways to circumvent these requirements, putting buyers at risk. If a vehicle is branded as non-repairable, the vehicle cannot be titled in Virginia, but a non-repairable car could be titled in another state. If a Virginian purchases that car and tries to title it in Virginia, the vehicle’s history would show it as non-repairable and the customer couldn’t obtain a title.

Virginia Code § 46.2-624 requires insurance companies to report to DMV when they have paid a claim of $3,500 or more on a vehicle due to water damage. Insurers are required to notify DMV of such water damage, even if the owner intends to continue driving the vehicle.

One tool consumers can use to check a vehicle’s history is the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS). By centralizing national title records, NMVTIS can help customers take extra precautions to identify flood-damaged, stolen or otherwise unsafe vehicles prior to titling. For more information, visit vehiclehistory.gov.

{snip}

From the comments:

skippy johnson • 3 hours ago
Inspect the lamps in the headlights/taillights--look for fogging or condensation. Make sure that all upholstery/carpet pieces match-- if not, could be a sign they were replaced. Look under the wheel wells and the spare tire for debris/water stains. Turn on all electronics, including the radio-- make sure there's no crackling/static noise or smoke. Also:

https://www.nicb.org/theft_...

National Insurance Crime Bureau VINCheck (SM)

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Reply Virginia Officials Warning About Buying Hurricane-Damaged Vehicles (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Oct 2017 OP
Stuart G Oct 2017 #1

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu Oct 26, 2017, 03:42 PM

1. Outstanding, Thanks for posting...!!!

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