WINSTON-SALEM, NC — Hurricane Sandy’s rain and flood waters damaged around 230,000 cars in late October, and now some of those cars have been re-conditioned in order to be sold in other states, including North Carolina.
The National Dealers Association is warning car dealerships to look out for damaged cars.
Tracy Myers, owner of Frank Myers Auto Maxx, said he won’t be buying any water-damaged Sandy cars.
“If we get that car we’re not going to sell it. We advise any consumer to never buy a flood car,” Myers said.
If you’re in the market, Myers said there are some things you need to check out on a car to make sure it’s not water-damaged.
For the car’s interior, water lines are often hard to get rid of, and may still be visible even with repeated washing.
In the trunk, detailers often miss the spare tire well, which can become rusted if a heavy amount of water is in the trunk.
Under the hood, untreated bolts and screws will also show rust, despite a dealer’s best efforts. All of these examples should be red flags, Myers said.
Then there are the things you can’t see.
Myers’s Director of Service Robert Thomas said water can damage the car’s on-board computer, which can cause the diagnostic system to malfunction.
“It’s impossible to completely dry a car’s electrical components if it’s been submerged,” Thomas said.
Myers advised all buyers to get a complete vehicle history report, which would disclose if a car had ever been flooded.
Failing to disclose damage to a vehicle is a misdemeanor in North Carolina, and it can also leave someone convicted of the offense open to civil action.