JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) - As hurricane season kicks into full force, hundreds of thousands of cars will be flooded. Many times those damaged cars end up back on the market. The Attorney General is warning folks to beware!
The car may look good, smell good and even start up with no problem, but it's the problems that lie beneath that can cause the major damage.
As waters rise in hurricanes and tropical storms it can leave homes in bad shape, but flood waters can do some major damage to cars.
Harvey in Texas is a prime example. The rain filled cars and covered rooftops.
"Water doesn't do as much as a collision will do, but it's the electronics mainly," said Terry Road Tire & Alignment owner Mark Grubbs. "It's the electronics there and there are so many electrical components in the car; the plug-ins, connectors, wiring, everything on my car will be affected."
Grubbs has seen his fair share of storm damaged cars and admits they can be a nightmare for potential buyers.
"It will be an electrical ghost; things will be happening you can't explain," add Grubbs. "You can be going down the road and the dash lights start flashing."
Attorney General Jim Hood agreed. He said that although insurance companies usually total the flooded car, many of the vehicles still end up on used car lots. You can also find scammers who have camouflaged them as reliable cars.
"Be careful buying these things because you get what you pay for," said Attorney General Hood.
His advice is to avoid buying a storm damaged car. Inspect vehicles carefully, and pay attention to hidden areas that could collect mud or silt.
"Go to one of your auto repair shops or body shop and let them scan your vehicle," added Hood. "Because even though a light may not be on, there is a problem and what you can do is get it scanned to cover historical issues."
Do your research. Also, it's important to get a vehicle history report.
"I would look at the title to whomever is trying to sell it, like in Louisiana they have certificates of destruction for flood damage vehicles and those can be titled in Mississippi or any other state," said Hood.
Hood said if a dealer knowingly sold someone a flooded car without alerting the potential buyer, that person could face criminal charges.
Below is the press release Attorney General Jim Hood's office released.