A warning for Carolina car buyers.
With all the rain we've seen lately up and down the East Coast, flooded cars could be flooding the market.
We've learned sellers don't have to tell you about the damage, unless you ask.
Eddie Davis admits when he bought his first car 20 years ago he believed every line the dealer fed him.
"This is a good car, it will not put you down, that's exactly what he said. And I was excited, OK, it won't put me down, I'll take this one," explained Davis.
But after 30 days the car wouldn't run.
Chances of that happening to you may be on the rise thanks to all the rain we've seen lately.
The Departments of Motor Vehicles in both the Carolinas warn flooded cars could end up on dealers lots and you may never know they were salvaged.
That's because, as insurance expert Max Fain explains, the law doesn't protect you.
"Dealers are not required by law to tell you that a car has been wrecked or salvaged or the title is in bad shape," he said.
To protect yourself he says:
"Always ask the dealer or the individual if the car has ever been in a wreck or if the car has ever been salvaged."
That's because if you ask, the dealer must tell you by law.
"And if they don't then they could be held liable by a court of law."
Second, Fain recommends reviewing a Carfax report and title before buying.
Following this check list could also save you from a big mistake:
- First, check for rust on the screws and bolts, the breaks behind the wheel, and under the hood.
- Then head to the trunk and check under the spare tire for any residue.
- Inside, smell for mildew. And if there's new upholstery on an old vehicle, that could be sign of flooding.
- And of course check the electrical system.
Davis has learned his lesson.
"He just saw a turkey and decided to put them in the oven, that's all. Ooo, lord, I'm a wise man now," he laughed.
And he hopes you'll wise up, too.
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