More than 212,000 flood-damaged cars, many from Superstorm Sandy, are on the roads all over the country, according to new data from Carfax.
Carfax assessed Department of Motor Vehicle records across the U.S. and found that almost two-thirds of the flooded cars are registered in 10 states: Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia. However, Carfax said its research shows that scam artists who do minimal cleanup on the cars to hide the flood damage but don't repair them are known for moving them to other parts the country, especially in areas far from where the flooding occurred.
Some of these cars are likely to have been paid out as a total loss on car insurance claims, only to be grabbed by con artists and resold.
Carfax said flood-damaged cars from Superstorm Sandy are particularly troublesome because saltwater is especially corrosive. Flood-damaged cars often appear safe and reliable on the outside but are literally rotting from the inside out from corrosion that began when the car sat in water. Used-car shoppers can help protect themselves by reading "4 tips to avoid buying a water-damaged car."
Are you taking precautions to avoid buying a flood-damaged car?
Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.