Storm-wrecked cars to hit used-car market
After Hurricane Irene drenched the State last month, receding floodwaters have surfaced tens of thousands of storm-wrecked cars. These cars are ready to hit the second-hand car market by next month.
In the latest updates from flood-affected areas, smashed cars in thousands razed by Hurricane Irene have drawn uncanny attention of the locals. Owing to this, illegal selling by unscrupulous dealer could be on the rise, fear State authorities.
Philip Reed, senior consumer advice editor for automotive research site Edmunds.com. “We’ve had quite a bit of rain and flooding, so it will be worse than usual this year… It’s a danger for car buyers.”
State authorities fear “title washing”
Reed threw light on how these broken cars, once have reached salvage area, might get exposed to illegal selling. Dodgy car dealers might revamp the cars to resell these to unwary buyers in some other State. Erasing the damage record, a practice called “title washing” could be on rise in near future.
Again, State officials asked buyers to be wary of hoodwinking by unscrupulous dealers, and requested buyers to exercise vigilance from next month onwards.
Since, waterlogged cars take at least a month to dry up; storm-wrecked cars could probably start surface in the market from October onwards.
Consumer Fraud Act to protect NJ buyers
As per New Jersey law, deliberately hiding the damage history of an automobile may lead to a fine up to $10,000 for the first incident, under the Consumer Fraud Act.
State records of the past two years disclose that Division of Consumer Affairs arrived at settlements totalling $240,000 with five used-car dealers charged of hoodwinking customers by hiding the damage history of vehicles.
Thomas R. Calcagni, director of the division explained that, “You can kick the tires, open the hood, check the body for rust but, unless you are told, you can never see that the car ot truck you want to buy was severely damaged and subsequently repaired,”