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“Title-Washing” A Wreck

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I just read this article on CNN on “title-washing” where someone buys what is legally considered a wreck in one state, fixing it up, and retitling it in a new state where the “salvage” conditions are different. Apparently this happens most often with flood-damaged cars since there is no obvious visual damage once the car has been reupholstered and cleaned up but everything in the car is affected, especially electronics. While this doesn’t seem like something that would happen with your major dealers (it’s not worth it to them), they warn that you should get a Carfax-like report, bring a trained eye, and check the records diligently. A tipoff is if the state the car is currently registered in doesn’t appear on the Carfax report.

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One Response to ““Title-Washing” A Wreck”

  1. Mark Dobson says:

    This is absolutely true. Every time there’s a hurricane or a flood individuals and dealers are desperate to unload flood cars. They’ll ship these cars as far away as possible so that car buyers won’t suspect that their new ride was underwater six months ago. You really have to do your homework before you purchase a car these days. Here’s another good article about title washing that goes into even more detail. You have to look for more than just water damage. People will try to pawn these crap cars off on if they were wrecked. I knew a guy that bought a car that was 2 separate vehicles at one time. They had been welded together! How safe is that?


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