Consumer alert: Know the signs of water-damaged vehicles

TOPEKA, KS— Officials say that within the next two months vehicles will appear for sale from unscrupulous sellers that are the result of water damage from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Kansas consumers should check the backgrounds of vehicles they may consider purchasing, said Ken Selzer, CPA, Kansas Commissioner of Insurance.

“The time is coming when the adage ‘let the buyer beware’ will become ever more important when it concerns buying a used vehicle,” said Commissioner Selzer. “A common-sense approach to inspecting a vehicle is needed now, because some flood-orhurricane-damaged vehicles may be making their way to Kansas car lots from Texas or Florida.”

Commissioner Selzer and Kansas Insurance Department staff members urge prospective vehicle buyers to get a CARFAX Vehicle History Report. This will tell if the vehicle has been in a flood, a crash or a fire. Also, buyers should consider taking the vehicle to a trusted mechanic for an inspection prior to purchase.

The Commissioner also recommends checking these possible signs of vehicle water damage:

  • Water stains under the carpet.
  • Corrosion around electrical wiring.
  • A musty odor.
  • A watermark in the engine compartment.


Source: Kansas Insurance Department

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