RICHMOND, VA—As hurricane season moves forward, the DMV is sending out a warning for those looking to buy a used car.
Superstorm Sandy struck the East Coast in November 2012, but states, including Virginia, are now just dealing with aftermath in the auto industry.
"It can take a while for those cars to make their way into the marketplace," said Virginia DMV Spokesperson Sunni Brown.
DMV spokesperson Sunni Brown says vehicles flooded in storms like Sandy often arrive in Virginia months later, and are damaged and pose a danger to drivers.
"The electrical system could fail, your safety precautions like airbags could fail," Brown said about the damaged vehicles.
With hurricane season here, the DMV is working to warn buyers about the potential dangers.
"We'll check the car," said Bob Farlow, general manager of McGeorge Toyota. "If it is in an area like when Katrina hit or Sandy hit, that's the first red flag that we go after."
Bob Farlow of McGeorge Toyota says customers need to do the same inspection he does to rule out water damage.
Farlow says he traces the vehicle's VIN number and uses a meter to see if it's been repainted.
"If we see a vehicle that has corrosion under the hood or in the car, that's a red flag for us along with checking the interior," said Farlow.
Farlow says carpet that's been replaced is a warning sign, as is grit or sand inside the car.
The DMV recommends a mechanic check a car before you buy it. And if it's been branded as non-repairable, you'll be unable to title the car in Virginia.
"You really have to be careful and make sure you're getting the car you think you're getting.," said Brown.
For more information on how to check a vehicle's history report, click HERE.
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