Katrina Car Comebacks
September 4, 2017 2:21 PM   Subscribe

A few days ago, I went car shopping with a friend. They had been through Katrina, and with all of the focus on Harvey, they were thinking hard about Katrina cars; cars that got shipped out of New Orleans to all parts of the country for sale with doctored titles. People all over got stuck with these ruins that had all kinds of problems and never ran right.

So, she asks to look under the back seat and the sales guy doesn't care. I help her pop it up and there looks like mud caked in bolt wells. The sales guy doesn't know how it got there. What are some possible explanations of how it did get there? And, if it was a flooded car, I thought states passed laws that didn't let dealerships use "as is" to shield them if they got caught selling a flooded car. If she had bought it, could she sue the dealership if she discovered the mud later? How would she check for a false title?
posted by CollectiveMind to Law & Government (3 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Mud caked in the bolt wells is a sure sign of a flooded car. I'm sure someone more local will be along soon to advise where it should be reported.
posted by tillsbury at 3:20 PM on September 4, 2017 [4 favorites]

To check the title, get the VIN. Ask the dealer for the carfax report.
posted by theora55 at 3:43 PM on September 4, 2017 [3 favorites]

Above advice is good, but incomplete. This is an easy spot.

There are MANY harder ones for cars.

Paperwork is harder to fake, but not impossible.

Cars usually cost thousands - usually TENS of thousands of dollars. This is a big purchase, and one that you put your life, other lives and reliability for jobs, friends etc in. .....

This thus implies: if you are not buying a car that is brand new with factory warranty, if you don't take it to an independent mechanic familiar with that kind of car - usually a local repair shop specializing in those cars for $100-200 for an ~60 minute full nuts-to-bolts inspection up on a car lift, you are setting yourself up for woes.

No matter how good the deal, no matter how late in the day........ Run Away from any dealer or seller who won't let you take the car to a mechanic.
posted by lalochezia at 12:14 PM on September 5, 2017 [4 favorites]

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