Consumers Urged to be Careful When Buying Used Vehicles

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is urging consumers to be vigilant when buying used vehicles that may have been submerged in water during Hurricane Ian.
“Flood-damaged vehicles could soon enter the preowned market due to the devastation brought by Hurricane Ian in Florida and other states,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “It is important that consumers check a vehicle’s history. Anyone thinking of buying a car should make sure their good deal isn’t too good to be true.”
The governor of Florida has described the damage brought by Ian as historic, a weather event never before experienced by Floridians.
West Virginia state law prohibits submerged vehicles from being sold without a salvage title.
Attorney General Morrisey suggests doing research on a vehicle before buying, including evaluating the vehicle via CARFAX and researching the dealership via the Better Business Bureau.
If buying from a private owner, it’s always advisable to have a trusted mechanic inspect the vehicle.
Here are some things to watch out for, according to the Federal Trade Commission:
*Check for signs of stains, mildew or sand under the vehicle’s floor mats or carpet.
*Check for a strong odor of bleach or other disinfectant.
*Check the title for signs of multiple owners in multiple states in a short period of time.
*Check “as-is” paperwork and specifically ask if the vehicle was in Hurricane Ian.
If you have a question about a possible purchase or have a complaint, you can call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 800.368.8808 or file a report at