As Tennessee property owners recover from February’s heavy flooding and severe weather, Tennessee Motor Vehicle Commission, which is part of Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance’s (TDCI) Regulatory Boards, is reminding consumers to be on the lookout for flood-damaged vehicles that will likely be popping up for sale.
After a flood or natural disaster, it’s a common practice for owners of flooded vehicles that have been declared total losses by insurance companies to be allowed to retain damaged vehicles. Instead of sending the flooded car to the junkyard, scammers will attempt to sell flooded vehicles quickly, hoping to stay ahead of computer system updates so that title check systems don’t have time to detect a car’s history. By the time a consumer discovers the vehicle’s history, the seller will be long gone.
“Operating a flooded vehicle that received non-repairable damage in a storm is dangerous for both the vehicle’s driver and other commuters,” said TDCI Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak.
“We want Tennesseans to be aware of unscrupulous individuals who aim to make money by selling a defective vehicle that’s been disguised as being perfectly good. I urge consumers, if flooding has left you in need of a new or used automobile, to be wary of vehicle scams and learn the law.”