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State warns residents to be on the lookout for flood-damaged vehicles when purchasing a car

Flickr user maxstrz

Following floods in many communities across the state, the attorney general's office is urging people seeking to buy a car to be on the lookout for flood-damaged vehicles.

Water damage may be hard to spot, and could take weeks or months for evidence of damage to become apparent. Especially in electrical systems.  

Andrea Bitely is the director of communications for Attorney General Bill Schuette. She said performing a thorough inspection of a vehicle before you buy it is crucial -- and easy.

“Smell the vehicle. It’s a really basic way to figure out if water has been in the car. If it has a musty or moldy smell or perhaps if it’s been, I’m going to say over febreezed, or over perfumed”.

Bitely said beyond smelling look for dirt and stains in inconspicuous places, and check the paperwork.

“Inspect the vehicles paper title before you buy it. Make sure it doesn’t say flooded, junked, salvage, rebuilt, or any other branding on that piece of paper that can indicate if the vehicle has been damaged”.

Bitely said if you think you have been unknowingly sold a car with water damage you can file a complaint with the state’s consumer complaint hotline.


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