In the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, thousands of flood-damaged cars may be put on the market in Massachusetts and other states. The National Insurance Crime Bureau is building a database of all flood-damaged cars in cooperation with auto insurers to try to prevent this from happening. In the meantime, consumers need to protect themselves. What should consumers do? Check for:
  • An unusual musty smell, like mold or mildew
  • Debris under the seats or the hood
  • Mud in the car or under the hood
  • Water stains in the interior
  • Rust in the interior or on the pedals

Next, get a vehicle history report from the Department of Motor Vehicles or other private companies that provide automobile history reports. Take the car for a test drive to see how it runs and finally, get a professional mechanic to check out the car before you buy.

Buy from a Massachusetts used car dealer and remember that Massachusetts consumers are protected by the Massachusetts Lemon Law (M.G.L.c.90§7N1/2).