BATON ROUGE, La. - Commissioner Jim Donelon is reminding Louisiana consumers to be vigilant when purchasing used vehicles that may have been flooded in Texas as a result of Tropical Storm Imelda. These damaged vehicles are sold at auction and unscrupulous sellers may ship automobiles, trucks, boats and RV's to other states and not disclose their origin to unsuspecting buyers.
"One month ago, Tropical Storm Imelda caused extensive flooding in Texas and as a result, we caution Louisiana buyers to look for signs of water damage in vehicles they are considering for purchase," said Donelon. "Often, when a deal is too good to believe, there's a reason."
Stains, mildew, rust and discoloration are obvious indicators that should make buyers cautious. Mismatched carpet, headliners and dirt or debris in the tracks under seats or in the area where the spare tire is located are often indicators of flooding.
Buyers are encouraged to run a vehicle history report and ask to see the physical title. If the vehicle has been declared a total loss, the title must indicate salvaged or non-reparable status. Also, the National Insurance Crime Bureau offers VINCHECK, a free database of vehicles that have been listed as a total loss.
Additionally, it is smart to have any used vehicle you are considering for purchase reviewed by a trusted mechanic or body shop.