Big trucks: A growing menace on U.S. roads

Owners can lose big money if they buy a flood damaged car. Vehicle value drops about 75% in a flood damaged car. It’s scary, but the corrosive damage that water causes may not show up right away. After time, the brakes in a flood damaged car suddenly fail. So can air bags. Other mechanical and electrical systems can fail too, sometimes abruptly, putting owners and other drivers on the road in immediate danger.

Don’t be fooled by an attractive price

People want a bargain when they buy a used car. But a cheap price is a signal it may have been flooded. In September 2017, CNBC reported that a man got a great bargain in 2009 on a black Cadillac he bought for $14,000. He sold it for $4,500 after a mechanic found evidence it was flooded in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans.

A woman in the Dallas Fort Worth area bought a car damaged by Hurricane Harvey. She wasn’t told about it. When the local CBS affiliate interviewed her, she said the day after she bought it, she took it to a mechanic because the airbag light wouldn’t turn off. He told her “the airbags were disabled” since the car was flood damaged and if she got into a wreck, she would “probably be dead.” Other electrical systems in the car were also damaged.

How to avoid buying a flood damaged car

A number of news agencies, non-profit organizations and state agencies have good advice if you’re in the market for a used car. According to Consumer Reports, totaled cars are usually sold “at a salvage auction to junkyards and vehicle “rebuilders.” Scammers can take them to a state with “relatively lax titling laws” so they can get a clean title without revealing the car was flooded. Consumer Reports also has an extensive list of how to spot a flood-damaged car.

St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer Wyatt Wright: State and federal laws can protect used car buyers

Wyatt Wright knows the law. “Lemon laws” in some states protect used car buyers who’ve been illegally sold a flood damaged car. There’s also a federal lemon law. The Federal Trade Commission’s “Used Car Rule,” orders sellers to put Buyer’s Guides in used cars stating whether they are being sold “as is” or with a used car warranty and that all possible defects are listed. Under the Uniform Commercial Code, used cars have an implied warranty that guarantees the vehicle is safe to drive unless it’s being sold “as is.”

St. Louis personal injury Wyatt Wright knows anyone who tries to hide flood damage in a car “is committing fraud.” His many legal awards demonstrate his ability to help those victims of fraud. Wyatt Wright is one of America’s top trial lawyers. Clients only pay fees, agreed upon in advance, when their case is won. Calls and evaluations are free.

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