Buyer Beware: Pennsylvania Among Top 10 States with Vehicles Damaged By Hurricane Ida

In the market for a used vehicle?  Buyer beware.  In the wake of Hurricane Ida and other intense storms across the United States, consumers need to be on alert for flooded vehicles resurfacing on the used car market. CARFAX data suggests widespread flooding from Hurricane Ida potentially damaged as many as 212,000 vehicles. Pennsylvania ranks number 4 with the most damaged vehicles at 19,000.

“Our data suggests that unsuspecting buyers everywhere are at risk of winding up with a previously flooded car,” said Chris Basso, CARFAX spokesperson. “The real danger is that these cars may look fine and run well for a while, but sooner rather than later major problems are likely to occur. Flooded cars literally rot from the inside out and the damage is often difficult for untrained eyes to detect. Together with our dealers, CARFAX is making the necessary resources available to help ensure consumers avoid unknowingly buying one of these waterlogged wrecks.”

Flood-damaged vehicles are in use in every state, but CARFAX data shows these 10 states have the most:

1

Texas

66,500

6

California

14,000

2

Florida

34,000

7

Illinois

13,500

3

Kentucky

23,800

8

South Carolina

11,400

4

Pennsylvania

19,000

9

New Jersey

11,200

5

North Carolina

15,300

10

Michigan

10,400

 

Here are seven telltale signs of a flooded car:

  1. A musty odor in the interior, which sellers sometimes try to cover with a strong air-freshener
  2. Loose, stained, or mismatched upholstery and carpeting
  3. Damp carpets
  4. Rust around doors, under the dashboard, on the pedals, or inside the hood and trunk latches
  5. Dried mud or silt in the glove compartment or under the seats
  6. Brittle wires under the dashboard
  7. Fog or moisture beads in the interior lights, exterior lights, or instrument panel