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How to Avoid Buying a Used Hurricane Flood Vehicle

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

With Hurricanes wreaking havoc in Florida and the surrounding areas, hundreds of thousands of flooded cars have hit the market and are available for sale to unsuspecting individual buyers. As reported on Rossen Reports on the Today Show, to protect consumers from unwittingly buying a flood damaged vehicles, CARCO provides CheckThatVin.com reports that includes the “Flood” brand in its reporting. CheckThatVIN is the most comprehensive vehicle title history database in the industry.

CARCO also provides open recall information in its reports providing another layer of safety to its customers. In a recent report by ABC Action News, 780,000 vehicles with unfixed safety recalls are either for sale or on the road in the Tampa Bay area alone! Takata Corp’s defective air bags have been linked to 278 injuries per figures released by Reuters and referenced by Senator Bill Nelson.

So, from now until July 16, 2018, CARCO is offering individual, private party car buyers complimentary access to run NMVTIS reports. To run your FREE NMVTIS report, please visit:

https://checkthatvin.com/CTVcares enter the VIN and then enter promo code: DH92BG57MZ

It is estimated that there will be over 637,000 flood claims due to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma alone. Consumers are at risk of buying flood-damaged cars that may be passed off as undamaged. Buyer beware! You do not want to unwittingly buy a car for your family that was under water. Ever.

“If a deal looks too good, be careful,” said Will Pagan, SVP and General Manager of leading fraud prevention auto inspection company, CARCO. “Before buying a vehicle, you should physically inspect it and run a ‘CheckThatVIN’ report, which relies on the most comprehensive and up-to-date online database of vehicles and was created by federal law.”

As mentioned on the Rosen Report, buying a flood vehicle is not illegal, but misrepresenting a flood-damaged vehicle as one that is not could be a crime exposing the seller to potential criminal charges. More importantly as a matter of family safety, unknowingly buying a flood-damaged vehicle may put you and your family in danger. A vehicle’s electronic systems are often destroyed from prolonged exposure to water rendering many of its safety features inoperable. https://www.nicb.org/newsroom/news-releases

Here are two ways to avoid buying a used flood vehicle:

1.    Have the vehicle inspected or inspect the vehicle yourself.

  • Look for water marks behind the rugs in the cabin and trunk.
  • Look for rust in the engine compartment.
  • Check for musty odors in the cabin and trunk.
  • Check the wheel wells for signs of submersion.
  • Check that electrical wires are flexible and not brittle or cracking.
  • Was the vehicle regularly parked in a location that had recent flooding?

2.    Run a NMVTIS CheckThatVIN report.
The National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) was designed to protect prospective buyers and sellers of used cars and trucks from concealed vehicle histories.

Created by federal law, this system is the only publicly available system in the country that requires all insurance carriers, auto recyclers, junk and salvage yards, and states to report vehicle title history information. NMVTIS data is also required in the state of California to comply with AB1215.

Reports typically include title “Brand” information that may uncover a previously-unknown “Salvage” or “Flood” vehicle. This information may not normally be found in a standard vehicle history report. CheckThatVIN is available at https://checkthatvin.com.


Since its inception in 1977, CARCO has provided businesses with the tools necessary to protect its clients from a variety of risk events and fraudulent activities that can expose the company and its bottom line.

A Cisive company, CARCO is one of four divisions:
1. Fraud prevention Pre-Insurance Inspection & Risk Monitoring Services Division
2. Driver iQ a Trucking Industry Background Screening and Monitoring Division
3. Background Screening, Employee Onboarding and Monitoring Services Division
4. Investigative and Security Consulting Division