CARFAX Warns Used-Car Shoppers to Watch for Signs Flood-Damaged Cars
CENTREVILLE, Va. (Oct. 10, 2022) – CARFAX estimates the widespread flooding across Florida and the Carolinas in the wake of Hurricane Ian potentially damaged as many as 358,000 vehicles. That number is on top of the 400,000 water-damaged cars that CARFAX data shows were already on the road in 2022 – before Hurricane Ian first made landfall.
Used-car shoppers need to be aware that these waterlogged vehicles could resurface anywhere around the country. Texas and Florida continue to lead the nation when it comes to the number of flood-damaged cars on the road, but CARFAX research shows these vehicles also show up in states where flooding might not be top of mind for car shoppers.
“We are seeing these flooded cars show up all around the country, putting unsuspecting buyers at risk,” said Emilie Voss, CARFAX spokesperson. “Cosmetically these cars might look great, but if you don’t know what to look for, it’s nearly impossible to tell they are literally rotting from the inside out. Floodwater can cause mechanical, electrical, health and safety issues in a vehicle even if it was submerged for only a short time.” CARFAX offers free resources for car buyers to help detect a waterlogged history before they make a purchase.
Flood-damaged vehicles are in use in every state, but CARFAX data shows these 10 states have the most:
Following the devastation of hurricane Ida last year, New Jersey and New York saw the largest year-over-year percent increases out of all the states, with 68% and 48% respectively.
CARFAX has a free Flood Check® tool, a national map that shows where flood cars have washed up, and a flood damage checklist at carfax.com/flood.
We’ve also included a list of the 7 telltale signs of flooding:
- A musty odor in the interior, which sellers sometimes try to cover with a strong air-freshener
- Upholstery or carpeting that may be loose, new, stained or that doesn’t match the rest of the interior
- Damp carpets
- Rust around doors, under the dashboard, on the pedals or inside the hood and trunk latches
- Mud or silt in the glove compartment or under the seats
- Brittle wires under the dashboard
- Fog or moisture beads in the interior lights, exterior lights or instrument panel
Editor’s note: Statistics for your area on flood-damaged vehicles are available upon request. Interviews with a used car expert from CARFAX also are available at any time. Please contact Emilie Voss at EmilieVoss@carfax.com or call 703-934-2664 ext. 4462.
CARFAX, part of S&P Global Mobility, helps millions of people every day confidently shop, buy, service and sell used cars with innovative solutions powered by CARFAX vehicle history information. The expert in vehicle history since 1984, CARFAX provides exclusive services like CARFAX Used Car Listings, CARFAX Car Care, CARFAX History-Based Value and the flagship CARFAX® Vehicle History Report™ to consumers and the automotive industry. CARFAX owns the world’s largest vehicle history database and is nationally recognized as a top workplace by The Washington Post and Glassdoor.com. Shop, Buy, Service, Sell – Show me the CARFAX™.
S&P Global Mobility is a division of S&P Global (NYSE: SPGI). S&P Global is the world’s foremost provider of credit ratings, benchmarks, analytics and workflow solutions in the global capital, commodity and automotive markets.