Hurricane Cars Coming to Mid-Missouri

5 years 9 months 23 hours ago Thursday, November 15 2012 Nov 15, 2012 Thursday, November 15, 2012 7:27:00 PM CST November 15, 2012 in News
By: Allie Hinds
loading

COLUMBIA - Authorities predict flood-damaged cars from Hurricane Sandy will soon make their way to the Midwest car market. Car buyers in land-locked Missouri don't typically check for flood damage before buying a car, which consumer experts say makes Missourians prime targets for flood-damaged car scams.

"Unscrupulous salvage operators and dealers often try to conceal from potential buyers the fact that vehicles have been damaged by a natural disaster," the National Insurance Crime Bureau's (NICB) President and CEO Joe Wehrle said in a news release.

"This doesn't surprise me at all," Blake Idel, manager of Transmissions Plus in Columbia, said, "There are just those types of people out there. I see a lot of vehicles in here that have had repairs done to them, then have tried to be sold as a perfectly functioning vehicle when in fact they were not, some of them even to the point where it would be dangerous to sell it to somebody."

Flood damage can cause corrosion to the car's electrical wires, mold in the interior, and total a car completely. Engines that have contact with salt water, like the water from Sandy, are rarely salvageable. Idel said there is little hope for flood-damaged cars, especially those that people attempted to drive while submerged in water.

The car's windshield wipers, power windows and motors will rarely work right after the flood, but in some cases once they dry out they'll work for a short period of time. The cars may run fine in the lot, only to shut down beyond repair when it rolls in to the driveway.

Mike Odneal, branch manager for the Mid-Missouri Better Business Bureau, said he typically sees cars cleaned up and passed off as good after big natural disasters like Katrina and Sandy.

"There's a lot of things you can do to check the vehicle yourself and if you're not fully confident you can always take it to a trusted mechanic or third party that might look at it in more detail," Odneal said.

Here are some tips from Odneal and Idel that you can use to check a vehicle for flood damage.

  • Pull back the panel of the inside of the trunk. You'll be able to see waterlines on the lining if there's been water in the car. This will also expose the wires and you can check for corrosion.
  • Check for smells in the carpet of mildew.
  • Look at the bolts underneath the front seats that hold them in place. The manufacturer doesn't put any kind of label or marks on them. If there are marks that means they've likely been replaced to take the carpet out.
  • Look for things like salt residue or silt or mud in places you wouldn't normally expect to see it, like under the floorboards.
  • Check the seatbelt straps for signs of moisture that's dried out and discolored.
  • Check metal parts of the vehicle to see if there's any rust forming.

Odneal said owners selling their vehicles online are supposed to label totaled vehicles as "salvaged," however many times owners label them as something less alarming like "needs repair."

Before buying a used car, whether online or from a dealer, you can get a vehicle history report which will give you background details about the car. Vehicle history reports will typically show if the car has been reported as a lemon, if it has been flood-damaged, and its past service records.

Carfax.com and autocheck.com are two of many websites where you can plug in the car's vehicle identification number (VIN) and pay for a detailed vehicle history report.

The vehicle's VIN can be usually be found on the corner of the dashboard on the driver's side.

Because of the car scams with vehicles from Sandy, some websites like Carfax have created a free tool where you can plug in the VIN and immediately find out if the car has been flood-damaged or not. Click here for that tool.

If you suspect a scam of any kind report it to the Mid-Missouri BBB by calling 573-886-8965.

More News

Grid
List
WASHINGTON (AP) — It's not just audiotapes. Omarosa Manigault Newman has a stash of video, emails, text messages and... More >>
46 minutes ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 10:57:37 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. health officials on Thursday approved a new generic version of EpiPen, the emergency allergy medication that... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 8:10:26 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- The bomb used by the Saudi-led coalition in a devastating attack on a school bus in Yemen was... More >>
4 hours ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 7:41:13 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- A judge has ordered a mental evaluation for the man accused of starting the Holy Fire that has... More >>
4 hours ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 7:14:03 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — An ethics panel says there's reason to believe that former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens broke the... More >>
6 hours ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 5:43:44 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A community Facebook post on a Jefferson City page said a student got dropped off at the... More >>
6 hours ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 5:22:00 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
BRANSON (AP) — A former employee of a southwestern Missouri paddlewheel tourist boat alleges in a lawsuit that he suffered... More >>
7 hours ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 4:36:01 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
LINN- Forbes Magazine named State Technical College of Missouri as the third best two-year trade school in the country. ... More >>
8 hours ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 3:44:00 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA (AP) — The Islamic Center of Central Missouri in Columbia is finally moving forward with an expansion project after... More >>
9 hours ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 2:37:00 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in Top Stories
HOLTS SUMMIT - The Daniel Boone Regional Library is a step closer to expanding its reach into Holts Summit. It... More >>
9 hours ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 2:36:00 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Charles Juden, director of the Department of Public Safety, will step down at the end of August.... More >>
10 hours ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 12:59:00 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Federal prosecutors announced Friday the indictment of a Fulton man for trying to engage in sexual activity... More >>
11 hours ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 12:35:00 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
INDEPENDENCE, Mo. (AP) — A 48-year-old Missouri man who stabbed his wife to death while their three children hid in... More >>
13 hours ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 10:12:00 AM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
CAMDENTON, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri State Highway patrol says a 33-year-old man died after he was thrown from a... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 7:45:00 AM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
MOBERLY - The Moberly Police Department responded to an armed robbery at the Break Time convenience store on U.S. Highway... More >>
16 hours ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 7:35:00 AM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
TUSCUMBIA (AP) — The trial of a 59-year-old man facing a capital murder charge in the 1984 death of a... More >>
19 hours ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 4:23:00 AM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Ninety-one people have died in impaired driving accidents so far in 2018. The Missouri Coalition for... More >>
19 hours ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 4:00:00 AM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
MOBERLY - A severe thunderstorm brought half-dollar sized hail and hundreds of power outages to Randolph County Thursday evening. ... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 10:05:00 PM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 75°
12am 73°
1am 72°
2am 71°
3am 70°