Thursday, March 23, 2006

Beware Katrina Cars!

"We can't tell you whether a New Orleans car would ever be safe," said Lirel Holt, past chairman of the coordinating committee.

That's a quote from a NYT article, reviewing the potential for consumer fraud in light of hurricane flood damaged used cars:

"To the sorrows and losses wrought by Hurricane Katrina, add the unprecedented potential for fraud - and peril - in the resale of cars damaged by the storm.

Since the hurricane struck on Aug. 29, auto clubs and law enforcement officials have warned consumers to scrutinize used cars for water damage and investigate their histories. Because a damaged car's title can be "washed"- varying state laws make it relatively easy to obtain a clean title in one state for a vehicle branded with a "flood" or "salvage" title in another - such warnings are routine after major storms.

But Katrina's automotive losses were hardly routine. Cars that sat in sewage- and fuel-contaminated floodwaters in New Orleans could pose unprecedented risks to anyone who handles the vehicles or their parts, according to the Coordinating Committee for Automotive Repair, a nonprofit organization that provides advice on pollution prevention and worker health and safety issues to segments of the auto industry, including repair businesses."

You have a few options to check out a vehicle for possible Katrina damage:



National Insurance Crime Bureau

A Used Car or a Katrina Biohazard?
NYT, October 17, 2005

Posted at 06:19 PM in Automobiles | Permalink


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