Perhaps one of the very worse outcomes for the general public, is when the vehicles are sent out of state for the resale markets. Throughout the country, state laws and their inconsistencies, will prevent the information with regards to these vehicles ever getting to the consumer. Even though these vehicles were deemed a total loss by insurance companies, it’s quite easy for dealerships to sell these vehicles without alerting the consumer that this is a vehicle that was completely submerged under seawater. Some dealerships will simply say they didn’t know if you call them on it. There are of course some dealerships that really didn’t know. I’m sure you would agree that it is the responsibility of the dealership to be educated on what to look for when purchasing these vehicles from auction.
Legislative efforts have been drawn up at the state and federal levels, but even they have failed to stem the resale market. The Insurance Crime Bureau has said that over 230,000 cars were damaged by the hurricane, no surprise, predominantly by the ocean water that surged into seaside communities, filling engines and interiors with sand and corrosive saline.
Hurricane Sandy survivors had lined up scores of dead cars all along Cross Bay Boulevard and at crazy angles for weeks after the storm. These served as a reminder of the brute strength of the waves. Even in Lower Manhattan, car owners returned to expensive parking garages on to find their high-end cars were floating in a soup of sewage and river water. Even FBI and Secret Service lost cars. Hurricane Sandy knew no discrimination on who and what it destroyed.
As a PDR Technician, you will need to be able to consult with your customer’s and lead them into buying vehicles that were not in this hurricane and teach them what to look for when buying used cars. These will certainly not be Certified Vehicles so there is that trigger but there are more. Will you know what to do if a customer has a vehicle such as this? How about how to recondition what can be? Follow me in this series and we’ll equip you with the knowledge going forward on what to do.
*Picture from Associated Press.