Climate change has impacted a lot of things this year. It brought increased wildfires to the west and stronger storms to the east, as well as disruption everywhere in between.
Now, one consumer group has warned that the crazy weather could be having an impact on car sales. The US Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) said increasing wet weather could lead to more flood-damaged vehicles appearing on used car lots.
According to a report from the PIRG, Hurricane Ida caused water damage to about 212,000 cars across the US. The group said these vehicles could make it into the hands of unsuspecting buyers as a result of rising demand for used cars.
The report, which was first covered by CBS news, alleges that buying one of these flood-damaged cars without realizing could come with excessive costs for repair and maintenance once you drive it off the forecourt.
Jacob van Cleef, consumer watchdog associate with PIRG Education Fund, said: “Even though cars that have been totaled or rebuilt after a flood tend to be cheaper, you should avoid buying any flooded vehicle. Even the ones that come with honest documentation could cost you a lot more in the long run.
“When a vehicle has been flooded, the owner should say so — but unfortunately, not everyone selling a car is trustworthy.”
The PIRG warned that any flood damage could be hidden through basic cosmetic changes or repairs to the vehicle.
In order to spot potentially flood-damaged cars, the PIRG said buyers should check the vehicle history through Carfax, have any potential purchases professionally inspected, and be on the lookout for any signs of flood damage.
It added that signs of flood damage can include water stains, sand in the carpets, damp aromas, or moisture in the head lamps.
Despite the warnings from the consumer group, CBS reported that PIRG didn’t yet have the data to confirm that more flood-damaged cars were being sold in the US. However, the group said that “several trends suggest” damaged vehicles could still be making it to market.