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Beware of flood damage when buying a used vehicle

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Recent storms have brought attention to the importance of being vigilant when purchasing a used vehicle, particularly in private sales. Cars that have been damaged by floodwaters, such as those resulting from recent rainstorms in California and other states, can sometimes find their way to Arizona to be resold.

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) is warning potential buyers to be on the lookout for flood-damaged vehicles that have been "dressed up" to hide the damage. These vehicles may have had their flood history fraudulently removed from their titles.

To avoid falling victim to this scam, ADOT recommends potential buyers to closely inspect the vehicle, checking all nooks and crannies for dirt, silt, and mold, as well as taking note of any distinct smells associated with water damage. Additionally, it is recommended to check the electrical and mechanical components, as well as the engine for signs of rust or new parts that may indicate flood damage. It is also a good idea to have a trusted mechanic check the suspension for water damage.

Buyers can also use the vehicle identification number (VIN) to obtain the vehicle history through an online service, which may charge a fee. This check can reveal the vehicle's status as "salvage" or "nonrepairable," as well as any maintenance problems, collisions, insurance claims, and titles issued in other states.

If any of these red flags are present, it is best to walk away from the sale and avoid losing hard-earned money. For more information on buying or selling a vehicle in Arizona, visit the MVD website.
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Sunday, 21 April 2024

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