BATON ROUGE, LA – Attorney General Jeff Landry cautions the
recent flooding that has impacted parts of Louisiana could affect car buyers
across the entire State.
“Flood-damaged vehicles can end up on the used car market and sold to
unsuspecting customers. I do not want our State’s consumers to get taken for a
ride,” said Attorney General Jeff Landry. “If you are in the market to buy
a used vehicle, inspect it carefully. Look at hidden parts or crevices to check
for mud or silt, indicators of the car having water damage.”
Attorney General Jeff Landry urges car shoppers to follow these important
- Look for water
stains, mildew, or sand under the carpet and floor mats and in
the console and wheel well, where the spare tire is stored. Also look for
fogging or moisture in the interior lights, exterior lights, and
- Smell the
interior of the car. A heavy aroma of cleaners and disinfectants could
be a sign that someone's trying to mask a mold or odor problem.
- Feel and listen
Have your mechanic inspect the car’s mechanical and electrical components,
and systems that contain fluids, for water contamination. Notice if
anything feels or sounds unusual.
- Know the
difference between “salvage title” and “flood title.” A salvage title
means the car was declared a total loss by an insurance company because of
a serious accident or some other problems. A flood title means the car has
damage from sitting in water deep enough to fill the engine compartment.
The title status is part of a vehicle history report.
- Obtain a vehicle
The National Insurance Crime Bureau’s free database includes flood damage
and other information.
If you suspect a dealer is knowingly selling a
flood-damaged car or a salvaged vehicle as a good-condition, used car – contact
your auto insurance company, local law enforcement agency, or Attorney General
Jeff Landry’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-351-4889.