DENVER (CBS4)– Thousands of cars damaged by last month’s flooding across Colorado may likely surface on the used car market. Now the state may take steps to make sure buyers know if they’re getting one of those damaged cars.
A working committee gathered at the Division of Motor Vehicles on Friday. They discussed vehicles damaged in the floods and the danger of them being sold to unwitting buyers.
Just how many cars were consumed by the floods is not known but now those damaged vehicles may be dried up, cleaned up and put up for sale.
In Colorado it may be difficult to determine if you are buying a vehicle damaged by water. At least one state lawmaker is concerned.
“We shouldn’t be deceiving consumers and they’ve been through a flood and damaged and somebody is trying to hide that damage. We should do what we can to protect the public,” said Rep. Spencer Swalm, a Republican representing Centennial.
A working group of county clerks , the Division of Motor Vehicles, auto dealers and others gathered to discuss whether Colorado needs a new and improved titling system.
The best way to figure out if a vehicle has water damage is to check it out. Look for moisture on the windshield, inside the headlights, in parts under the hood, moisture on the pad or carpet.
Colorado requires severely damaged cars to have salvage titles but that only applies to those less than five years old. The average vehicle has been on the road 11 years.
An ownership and maintenance check on the car is also advised.
“There’s a good chance a background check will identify where a car has been,” said Division of Motor Vehicles spokesman Kyle Boyd.
After hurricanes Katrina and more recently Superstorm Sandy, authorities discovered flood damaged cars being bought at rock bottom prices, repaired and then sold without being identified as having flood damage.
If it’s determined that a title designation is needed to indicate the car has been affected by a flood it will have to be approved by the state legislature.
Colorado Floods: How To Help
The recent floods are impacting families and communities throughout Colorado, so CBS4 has compiled a list of ways you can support the local communities impacted by the floods.