Illinois Secretary of State: Beware of flood damaged vehicles - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Illinois Secretary of State: Beware of flood damaged vehicles

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QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -
As waters continue to recede and lives slowly get back to normal after Hurricane Sandy, car buyers here in the Tri-States are asked to buy with caution, especially if you're planning on buying a used vehicle.
 
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, scammers are doing what's called "title washing," meaning they will move the flood damaged car from the east coast and take it to unsuspecting areas, then sell it.

Reports indicate that as many as 250,000 vehicles may be affected by the hurricane's flood waters.  This compares to 325,000 vehicles that were damaged by Hurricane Katrina, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. 

Glenn Predmore, the Owner of State Street Lube and Maintenance in Quincy says to check the vehicle history report at websites like Carfax.
 
Also, check inside the car for any indication it's been in a flood.
 
"Look underneath it and look in places that are hard to clean. You know, if it gets down to it, most of them when they clean them up, they never take the door panels off. Take the door panels off and look inside the doors for evidence of water. If it was deep in salt-water you'll see evidence there," said Predmore.
 
Another thing to look out for is an odor in the vehicle. Predmore says if it's been sitting in salt-water for a long period of time, it's going to have a smell that's going to be hard to mask.
 
Surprisingly enough, there's nothing illegal about selling a once-flooded car...if you are aware of that information before buying.
 
On Wednesday, November 14, Secretary of State Jesse White issued a warning to Illinois consumers looking to purchase used vehicles. White has instructed his office to closely monitor title applications involving potential flood vehicles from last month's hurricane.
 
"We are taking every step possible to ensure that flood damaged vehicles do not receive clean titles in Illinois," White said.
 
White also said, "While my office will do everything it can to protect Illinois consumers, it is always important that consumers also take active steps to protect themselves from purchasing damaged vehicles." 
 
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