In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, many vehicles were damaged on the East Coast. Now, New Jersey is releasing an online database with information on approximately 31,000 vehicles that were issued flood or salvage titles since the storm.
The State Motor Vehicle Commission and Division of Consumer Affairs came together to create the database and urge prospective vehicle buyers to check this database before buying a car, as specific requirements are needed to ensure buyers know the car was perhaps affected by the flood before any sale is finalized.
“Damage sustained by vehicles must be disclosed to prospective buyers,” Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa said. “We will hold car dealers accountable for violating our Consumer Fraud Act if they fail to make such disclosures.”
The Attorney General’s Office and the Better Business Bureau said in June that flood damaged cars from Hurricane Sandy were showing up as far away as Washington state and urged people to be careful what car they purchase. Robert W.G. Andrew, CEO of BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington, said sellers will try to clean up the car and sell it, but the car could feature a litany of problems that need to be worked out or may be altogether unsolvable.
With the New Jersey online database, Raymond P. Martinez, MVC Chairman and Chief Administrator, said it is being constantly updated so the public has updated information readily available so they can check purchases quickly. If a car has suffered significant damage in a flood, prospective buyers may want to think about making a different purchase.