Hundreds of thousands of storm-damaged cars are poised to flood the used-vehicle market following Hurricane Harvey, and now Hurricane Irma is threatening to place even more consumers at risk of unknowingly buying a wrecked ride.
With as many as 1 million vehicles in Texas damaged or destroyed by Harvey’s furious floods — and Irma barreling toward Florida — analysts are warning Americans to check vehicle history reports and inspect used cars carefully before buying.
Vehicle history report company Carfax said about half of cars damaged by floods return to the road.
That places hundreds of thousands of Americans at risk of buying what the auto industry considers “flood cars,” which was a common problem following Hurricane Katrina and other storms.
“They’re getting duped out of thousands of dollars with a vehicle that’s literally rotting from the inside out,” Carfax spokesman Christopher Basso said.
CarFax estimates that there are about 325,000 flood-damaged cars on the road today from past storms, spread among all states.