Flooded Sandy cars being resold - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Flooded Sandy cars being resold


New Orleans, La. - Thousands of cars flooded in Hurricane Sandy are turning up on the market for resale, some of them in Louisiana.

Cynthia Albert of the Better Business Bureau says she's received several complaints already, and according to research from CARFAX, more than 212,000 flood-damaged cars are on U.S. roads right now.

"They're pretty sneaky about how they refurbish these automobiles. On the surface, they look okay," says Albert.

It can be big business for professional con artists.

As a part of their research, CARFAX recently purchased a car flooded in Hurricane Sandy to analyze the extensive internal water damage.

"The car is pretty much compromised. The electrical system, because of the corrosion and with the electrical system, it's not when it's wet but when it's dry that it's compromised," says Mechanic Chuck Hamback.

Those electrical and safety systems can fail at anytime.

Hamback says flooded cars can be a volatile mixture of water, metal and electricity, and it's what's happening on the inside that potential buyers can't see.

Mechanical and electrical damages may not be the only problems with a flooded vehicle. It could also pose a serious health threat.

"Katrina made us all experts on mold. What happens is all the rest of the car is fine and they didn't take the ventilation system apart and clean it. You'll have a ventilation system in the car that could possibly have spores in it also, blowing in your face and your child's face," says Hamback.

Albert says there's one red flag that all prospective buyers should notice. "The bill of sales should say, 'Salvage.'  If they do something to the titles or the bill of sales and there's nothing about the damage, they are strictly doing something illegal," says Albert.

She says you should report it immediately and, whether it's an Internet sale or a car lot, you should always be aware of the vehicle's past before you purchase.

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