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Has Your New Car Been Under Water?

(ABC – Tampa)

Can you spot a flood car? Cosmetic fixes often fool unsuspecting buyers.

Carfax recently demonstrated how a flooded ride could be made to look like new in a matter of hours.

These cars rot from the inside out as flood damage affects the mechanical, electrical and safety systems of the car. Half of the cars damaged get cleaned up and moved around to the county with no notation of flood damage.

Dealers must disclose, in writing, if branded occurs with a vehicle.

A brand is a descriptive label assigned to a vehicle that appears on that vehicle’s title. This information identifies the vehicle’s current or prior condition, such as junk, salvage or flood.

The Florida of Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles indicates in a conspicuous place on the title that the vehicle is flood damaged and also defines flood vehicle.

Consumers can check titles using the department’s motor vehicle information check to see if there are any brands on a title.

Also, the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System, an electronic system that provides consumers with valuable information about a vehicle’s condition and history.

Carfax offers a free flood check report. But if they don’t brand a car as flooded, you may be on your own.