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Beware of Flood-Damaged Vehicles

Jul 30, 2004

With the recent torrential rains that have hit parts of New Jersey and other areas of the country, flood-damaged vehicles likely will begin surfacing.It’s important that dealerships take precautions to make sure these vehicles don’t wash up on your lot. Here are some ways to spot flood damage in vehicles: ·The best protection against purchasing a flood-damaged vehicle is to check the vehicle’s history. ·Examine the interior and the engine compartment for evidence of water and grit from suspected submersion in water. ·Check under the dashboard for dried mud and residue, and note any evidence of mold or a musty odor in the upholstery, carpet or trunk. ·Check for mud or grit in alternator crevices, behind wiring harnesses and around the small recesses of starter motors, power steering pumps and relays. ·Inspect the undercarriage or other components for evidence of rust and flaking metal. Restoration of a flood-damaged vehicle is a complex, time-consuming and costly endeavor, so it is important that all key personnel be alert and aware of the possibility that flood-damaged vehicles may be coming to your dealership. Also, keep in mind that New Jersey has a title brand for flood-damaged vehicles.The administrative regulation on that subject places the responsibility for branding the title on the registrant.