Hurricane Ida wreaks havoc on the used car market


AiM Mobile Inspections helps consumers and dealers avoid storm damaged cars and trucks that are about to flood the market

LONG BEACH, Calif. (September 14, 2021) Hurricane Ida left a destructive floodwater path stretching from the southeast to the northeast, wreaking havoc on communities damaging vehicles, homes, businesses and goods. In the aftermath of the storms, consumers in the used car market should be wary of flood damaged vehicles now and into 2022.

Automobiles damaged by flooding will end up in the used car market, at auctions and in dealership lots across the country as desperate owners with plenty of fairness in their vehicles try to recoup the value they can of a vehicle flooded by flood water.

Used car buyers need to know how to spot flood damaged vehicles no matter where they live because these cars are going to end up on dealership lot from coast to coast, ”Jason said. Soriano from AiM Mobile Inspections, who has nearly 30 years of experience in vehicle inspection. “Cars damaged by floods are never the same as they were before. ”

AiM Mobile Inspections and its team of more than 600 full-time inspectors examine vehicles across the United States, providing detailed condition reports to customers ranging from consumers, dealers and auctions to automakers. AiM’s 150-point independent inspection clearly identifies issues on vehicles for buyers and sellers. The company has asked its inspectors to pay close attention to damage caused by flooding due to bad weather this year.

It’s like 2011 again with flood damaged vehicles pouring into the used car market, except this has been a particularly tough year for dealers and car buyers, â € ??? said Eric Widmer, co-founder and senior vice president of sales and marketing at AiM. “With the recent shortage of new vehicles, the used vehicle supply chain has been the industry’s preferred market, but now it will be even smaller. Dealers and consumers alike need to be alert so they don’t get the wool over their eyes on a flood damaged vehicle.

Many states issue a flood or salvage title to a vehicle that has been submerged or damaged by flooding, information that can be found on a vehicle history report. Consumers concerned about flood damage should refer to the history report and also be prepared to make their own inquiries.

However, some sellers may try to unload their car or truck before a flood or salvage title appears on a vehicle history report. To combat this possibility, Soriano came up with these warning signs to help identify flood damage in a vehicle:

  • A musty smell in the vehicle, which can come from a moldy carpet or upholstery. If possible, lift the carpet to see how far the water may have risen in the vehicle, and also if there is any moisture left.
  • Mud in seat belt rails or seat belt tensioners.
  • Water or condensation in the headlights or taillights. Soriano notes that it could also be due to an accident, but the water in these areas could also be a harbinger of problems with flooding.
  • Water in the spare wheel well in the trunk of a vehicle. “Water in the spare tire well is a sign that we need to look a little further,” Soriano said.
  • A sagging headliner inside, especially on a late model vehicle.
  • Look under the seats. “I found a fish under a backseat,” said Soriano, who was inspecting cars in Port Newark, New Jersey after Storm Sandy hit. “It was a pretty obvious sign that the car had been underwater.”
  • Corrosion in the undercarriage of the vehicle, such as on the brake lines or around the fuel tank. When corrosion appears near the top of the springs or the shock towers are corroded, these are signs of flood damage.

A car’s engine, electronics, fuel system, airbags and brakes are all extremely sensitive to flooding, ”Soriano said. “It is extremely important to detect any water damage before you invest your money in a used car, and a professional inspection will help identify flood damage, no matter how a seller tries to hide it. ??

on AiM

AiM (Alliance Inspection Management), based in Long Beach, California, was founded in 2005 to inspect the condition of new and used vehicles, from bumper to bumper. AiM’s national team of more than 600 inspectors and auditors is equipped with state-of-the-art hardware and software designed to provide consistent, reliable and timely vehicle information. AiM, which includes automotive manufacturers, rental fleets, dealers, auction houses, finance companies and consumers as customers, has performed over 165 million vehicle inspections in the past 9 years. . For more information, please visit


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