Buyer beware: Watch out for flood-damaged vehicles from Hurricane Ian

CHARLOTTE — Vehicles flooded during Hurricane Ian may be making their way to the Charlotte area soon.

According to CARFAX, North Carolina is No. 6 in the country for having the most flood-damaged vehicles. The company estimates more than 15,000 from past storms are currently in the state.

CARFAX ranks Charlotte 20th in the country, with more than 4,000 vehicles.

With those numbers in mind, Action 9 investigator Jason Stoogenke shares how to spot the red flags, so you don’t end up buying one.

1. Check how the inside of the car smells. Be suspicious if the car smells musty or mildewy, or even the opposite seeming too clean, as if the seller is trying to cover something up.

2. Look for water stains on the fabric.

3. Look for parts of the upholstery that may not match. Someone may have replaced wet sections.

4. Check for moisture in the headlights and taillights.

5. Look for any metal that may have rust.

6. Test drive the vehicle.

7. Have a mechanic you trust inspect it.

8. Check out websites such as CARFAX that offer free checks to see if someone reported flood damage for the vehicle.

Click here for more information and to use CARFAX’s free flood check.

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