Attorney General Janet Mills Warns Of Flood Damaged Vehicles
In the wake of several hurricanes, Maine's Attorney General is cautioning car buyers to be on the lookout for flood damage.
While some think it's unlikely that water damaged vehicles will make their way to Maine from Texas or Florida, the attorney general says it's worth keeping it in mind, just in case. Flood damage is one of the things car dealers are required by law to disclose to potential buyers, but a private sale is a different matter.
Mills said in a media release that after past hurricane events, authorities reported truckloads of flood vehicles being taken out of affected cities, dried out, cleaned, and resold. It's now estimated that, between Hurricanes Irma and Harvey, more than a million flood-damaged vehicles could be put on the market.
Flood waters can cause severe damage to a vehicle's electrical systems and airbag sensors. It can rot upholstery, damage water lines, and leave mildew behind.
Secretary of State Matt Dunlap is in agreement with AG Mills that residents need to be aware of the rights and resources available to them from Maine and the federal government. "We encourage all buyers to review the title of the vehicle closely, reference the online title information system, and have the vehicle inspected by a certified mechanic prior to purchase," Dunlap said in a media release. He suggests reviewing the BMV 'Used Car Buyer's Guide' which is available on the Bureau of Motor Vehicles website.
The Maine Office of the Attorney General has consumer information available specific to purchasing new and used vehicles in Maine. Buyers can also utilize the Attorney General's Consumer Mediation Service by calling 1-800-436-2131 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.