By Craig McMorris, TV5 Anchor/Reporter - bio | email
LANSING, MI (WNEM) -
Michigan state officials have issued a consumer alert advising residents to exercise caution before purchasing their next used car to avoid being scammed into purchasing a flood-damaged vehicle. The warning comes amid an influx of flood-damaged vehicles on the national automotive market in the wake of Superstorm Sandy's devastation.
"Michigan consumers should do their homework before they buy their next used car to avoid being duped by dealers selling refurbished cars without mentioning prior flood damages caused by Superstorm Sandy," said Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette. "Floodwaters can destroy vital car components, so I urge all consumers to proceed with caution before spending their hard-earned cash on a waterlogged clunker."
Prospective used car buyers should take the following steps to avoid becoming a victim, including:
Seek independent inspection - Flood damage may be hard to spot and spending a few extra dollars for a competent automotive technician (with no relation to the seller) to examine the car can make all the difference.
Research the vehicle's history - There are many resources that provide vehicle history indicating whether the vehicle was in a flood region or issued a salvage title. Consult the free National Motor Vehicle Title Information System at www.vehiclehistory.gov.
Be aware of flood damage signs - To spot signs of flood damage, look for the vehicle having a mold smell, residue in the trunk, or premature rusting where it is not expected.
Review the vehicle's paper title before purchase - Look for terms like "flood," "salvage," or other brands labeling the car as damaged. But beware; never assume a clean title proves the vehicle is undamaged. The title may have been 'laundered' across state lines or altered to conceal the brand.
Residents who believe they may have been tricked into buying a flood-damaged vehicle from a used motor vehicle dealer are encouraged to file complaints online with the Secretary of State, Bureau of Information Security Regulatory Monitoring Division at http://bit.ly/floodedcarcomplaint
If consumers believe they have purchased a flood-damaged vehicle from an individual, they may also contact the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division toll-free: 887-765-8388.
Copyright 2013 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 1:03 PM EDT2013-05-21 17:03:10 GMT
Beaverton police said one man was shot at a condo near Progress Ridge early Tuesday morning. Just before 1 a.m., police received calls about gunfire at the condo in the 15000 block of southwest SparrowMore >
Reports of gunfire led Beaverton police to respond to a condo in the Progress Ridge area early this morning. More >
Citing a lack of leads, a police agency said Monday that it is closing the active investigation of the disappearance of Susan Powell, a Utah mother whose now-dead husband was a prime suspectMore >
The lawyer for the family of missing Utah woman Susan Powell said Tuesday that even as local police close the active part of their investigation into her disappearance, federal authorities continue to review the case - a...More >
Tuesday, May 21 2013 11:27 AM EDT2013-05-21 15:27:32 GMT
A local horse is safe after crews pulled it out of a swimming pool in Corbett Monday morning.It happened at a home on Southeast Henkle road.Firefighters and an animal rescue crew went to the home.TheyMore >
A local horse is safe after crews pulled it out of a swimming pool in Corbett Monday morning.More >
Monday, May 20 2013 10:01 PM EDT2013-05-21 02:01:22 GMT
Sherwood police are trying to track down the person who left a hidden camera inside a bathroom at Starbucks. The hidden camera was discovered May 1. The Sherwood Police Department has been working closelyMore >
Sherwood police are trying to track down the person who left a hidden camera inside a bathroom at Starbucks.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:16:53 GMT
One person has died in a crash near Harrisonville, MO, Thursday evening. The crash happened on Missouri Highway 7 and Walker Road. It involved a car and a tractor-trailer. Harrisonville is in Cass County.More >
Savannah Nash celebrated her 16th birthday last week. She died Thursday when her car slammed into a semi while she was texting during her first time driving by herself.More >
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:45 AM EDT2013-05-21 14:45:19 GMT
Police in Northwest Portland are investigating an armed robbery. Officers say a man with a gun approached the valet for Café Mingo, a restaurant on NW 21st Avenue, just after 7 p.m. Monday. The valetMore >
Police in Portland are looking for a man who robbed a valet at gunpoint.More >
Tuesday, May 21 2013 1:01 PM EDT2013-05-21 17:01:29 GMT
Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant is pledging $1 million for tornado relief through his family foundation. The American Red Cross announced Tuesday that the gift from The Durant Family FoundationMore >
Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant is pledging $1 million for tornado relief through his family foundation.More >