If you are looking to buy a vehicle in the near future, you may be seeing deals that are too good to be true.  There is a better than average chance that you are right, especially if you are looking for a car in Louisiana.

Due to the incredible damage the catastrophic floods dealt out in Texas and Florida in the past weeks, millions of cars have quite a lot of water damage.  This damage may not be evident right away, and a lot more of it can be covered up for long enough to sell it to an unsuspecting buyer.  The potential for scamming the public is so high, it has prompted Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry to issue a warning for car buyers.

According to U.S. News and World Report, the AG is urging consumers to watch out for unusually low prices and a few other telltale signs that could signify the vehicle has been partially or totally submerged by floodwaters.  Long term effects that could plague the immersed car or truck include potentially illness-causing mold, malfunctioning electronics, and damaging rust.  Experts say to look for these signs when trying to determine if the automobile you are looking at may have been engulfed by the flood:

  • musty smells and obvious signs of rust
  • water rings or spots in the carpet
  • signs of the carpet being replaced recently
  • make sure the power locks and windows work
  • fogging in headlights and taillights

In any case, you should have a trusted mechanic check a vehicle before you buy.  A reputable auto repair tech should be able to tell if the vehicle is flood damaged.  A quick look at the vehicle history report, such as the one available from Carfax or the National Insurance Crime Bureau, would be able to set the record straight as well.