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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Warning Issued Over Flood-Damaged Cars

From Staff Reports

Used car buyers here may get soaked when they realize they purchased flood-damaged clunkers from storm-weary states.

In the wake of the California and Texas floods, the Better Business Bureau of the Inland Northwest issued a warning to residents to be cautious of out-of-state cars sold individually and at auctions.

“We’re trying to be pro-active because… there is very little recourse after the purchase,” said Lisa Stephens, president of the local bureau. “I would say, ‘always be wary of a used vehicle.”’

Prospective buyers should inspect the car’s title, which lists previous owners, date and place they were sold. If the title is stamped “salvage,” the car is most likely defective.

The bureau also recommends that consumers:

Flex wires under the dash to see if they bend or crack. Wet wires become brittle upon drying and can crack or disengage.

Check the trunk, glove box, upholstery and dash for mud, rust, water rings, mildew and musty odors.

Look for discolored or stained carpets. Carpeting that has been replaced may fit loosely or may not match the interior color.

For more information and to verify dealer reliability, call the local bureau at (800) 356-1007.

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