close print view
Beware of Buying a Flood-Damaged Vehicle
The Attorney General provides Consumer Alerts to inform the public of unfair, misleading, or deceptive business practices, and to provide information and guidance on other issues of concern. Consumer Alerts are not legal advice, legal authority, or a binding legal opinion from the Department of Attorney General.
BEWARE OF BUYING A FLOOD-DAMAGED VEHICLE
Hundreds of vehicles were flooded during Hurricane Sandy in 2012, the 2013 Colorado floods, and most recently, the August 2014 floods in Southeast Michigan. Many will end up on the used car market. Vehicles with flood damage can be shipped across the country in a matter of days and appear for sale on the Internet or at car lots far away from the storm area, without any mention of the damage.
The National Salvage Vehicle Reporting Program, an independent third party standards body for the federal government’s comprehensive database on vehicle damage history, reports that thousands of water/flood damaged vehicles have been sold at auction, including some then resold without disclosure that they were flood-damaged.
Floods can damage vital parts of a car including airbag sensors, brakes, and electrical system—and the damage may not show up right away. Don’t put your hard-earned money into a flood-damaged lemon.
PROTECT YOURSELF BEFORE PURCHASING
TO FILE A COMPLAINT:
Consumers should file complaints against a used motor vehicle dealer with the Secretary of State, Bureau of Information Security, Regulatory Monitoring Division. Complaints may be filed on-line at http://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,1607,7-127-1640_14837-179644--,00.html or by contacting the Bureau of Information Security, Regulatory Monitoring Division at 1-888-SOS-MICH (1-888-767-6424).
Consumers may contact the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division at:
Consumer Protection Division
Toll free: 877-765-8388
www.michigan.gov/ag (online complaint form)
Copyright © 2014 State of Michigan