• Sep 26, 2006
With the horror of Katrina behind us and the rebuilding underway, there is another threat remaining from this devastating natural disaster. Hundreds of thousands of cars and trucks that had been submerged under several feet of water have now dried out and are, in many cases, finding their way onto the used car market. For buyers, these cars may seem like any other used car offering once they've been cleaned up, but the threat of future problems is great with a machine that was never intended to be underwater. Many of these vehicles are being offered in faraway states with no seeming connection to the flooding, so unsuspecting customers need to be extra alert to spot possible damage. Because of differing state motor vehicle title laws, these problem cars are even harder to spot.

And that's where the Damaged Vehicle Information Act comes in. According to The Auto Channel, its aim is "to ensure that totaled and flood-damaged vehicles are flagged forever so that consumers and auto retailers can make more informed decisions about the safety and fair market value of used cars." This NADA-supported House bill wouldn't require any additional infrastructure, just a permanent red flag affixed to the vehicle's record. Insurance companies would have to make available information about a totaled vehicle's VIN, the reason for it being written off, mileage when it happened and whether the airbags deployed. A similar Senate bill was also introduced and is working its way through committee. Obviously this isn't just about Katrina cars. Every year as many as five million cars are totaled and many find their way back to dealer lots and showrooms.

[Source: The Auto Channel]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      ahh, high quality web grafix !
      • 8 Years Ago
      Wow! I wonder if the auto industry is pushing for this bill.

      Car manufacturers would love this.

      Don't think for a minute congress is doing this because they are trying to look out for us.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Not only are these vehicle being sold within the United States, they are sold in Mexico as used cars! People buy them for cheap in the US since they were salvaged from the flood, then take them across the border and sell them.
      • 8 Years Ago
      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Please do us a favour and don't use Photoshop, or hire someone who knows how to use it. At least this one was entertaining.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Took them over a year to get this going ? where are those cars at today ? still in water hell no ! they probably all been sold to unknowing buyers by now ! ahhh well "better late then never" I suppose, hope they can track all the cars that were damaged in katrina an inform there new owners and do something about this ! have they thought about doing this ??????
      • 8 Years Ago
      I live in Tn. and after the floodwaters had receded we started getting reports on the local tv news about HUGE lots filled with cars that were being dried out. One story on the local news showed several dozen new Toyotas sitting with their doors, hoods, and on the cars, trunks. open to dry them out. This story went on to say that these cars were "supposedly" being auctioned off as parts only, but some of the prices being paid for the more expensive Camrys, Solaras, Avalons, and trucks would preclude anyone making a profit on sales as parts.

      With insurance companies putting homeowners in a squeeze over rebuilding their homes in Gulf States, I guess car dealers, being in a similar bind, are forced to resell a flood damaged vehicle as they can't afford the write-off.
      • 8 Years Ago
      OMG I think I sharted when I saw that bad photochop job there!!!! HAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!
      • 8 Years Ago
      'Bout time.
      • 8 Years Ago
      It's really bad. I've seen people on local car forums specifically looking for flooded cars that have clean titles(haven't been reported as salvaged or totaled due to flooding). I can only presume they are looking to buy them cheap and resell them somewhere else where the buyer won't know what's wrong with the car until it starts falling apart. Many of these flooded cars will run just fine after they are cleaned up, until the engine starts smoking and the wiring harnesses and sensors start rotting from saltwater exposure. No matter where you live, be *very* wary of cheap used cars for the next few years, especially if they come from one of the gulf states.
      • 8 Years Ago
      AHAHA! Was the story photo created with Microsoft Paint?
      • 8 Years Ago
      I suspect a dealer in the Seattle suburbs was selling Katrina-ized '05 Explorers. We were looking for a good deal on an '06 Explorer in the Spring and noticed that they had a LOT of new-ish cheap '05s still on the lot. I assumed they were all lease or program car returns.

      They had a pretty nice '05 Eddie Bauer on the lot. We opened it up and it smelled like dirty water and it just looked too worn-out inside to be an '05. The carpet had that "too-fuzzy, been washed with a brush" look to it.

      I didn't realize it at the time, but I BET that was a Katrina car.
      • 8 Years Ago
      after 30 yrs recycling/rebuilding, I find no fault w/wet or totaled vehicles as long as they are correctly identified. Adjusters are free to write off cars regardless of extent of damages if they like the policyholder or it,s simply expedient.The quality of repair is no more dangerous than the average newcar dealer & a whole lot less expensive. When a storm surge hit our area, i bought totals that barely had the tires wet.