Concerns of flooded cars for sale following recent hurricanes

Concerns of flooded cars up for sale following recent hurricanes

State Farm says it's received nearly 40,000 damaged car claims in Texas since Hurricane Harvey. The numbers are also growing in Florida where claims have grown close to 10,000.  

Now there is concern that some of those vehicles could end up for sale.

However, filing a claim doesn't always work to report a car has been flooded.

"This is my car; I live here in the 7th ward," Daniela Capistrano said.

At first check, Capistrano says her 2006 Volvo sedan appears to be in good shape. The car turns over right away, engine sounds good, but Capistrano says look closer at the engine, and around the exterior of the car.

"There is this evidence of you know flooding," Capistrano pointed to a water line near her tires.

She's had her car cleaned out, but she showed that there's still water coming from the exhaust, and the engine sounds different from what she remembers. Despite this, she says it's been a struggle to prove to her insurance company, GEICO, that all these issues happened because of the August 5th flooding.

"They told me this past Friday that they denied my claim on the basis that they didn't have a photo of my car being flooded."

Capistrano told Eyewitness News she was out of state, so she wasn't home to take pictures of her car parked on North Villere Street at the time.  

"Already since I've been back, two people have given me offers to buy my car."

She just wants the insurance to make repairs, but if she has to sell it now, the car could end up being sold with no history of what happened.

Mark Boudreaux, a car technician and owner of Mid-City Service Station, has fixed a variety of issues related to waterlogged engines. 

"Flooded cars can be fixed. We've fixed thousands of them," Boudreaux said.

However, he says there's a lot of risks that come with fixing a flooded car, especially if the sensors were damaged.  

"Customer driving along, airbag pops because something wasn't done correctly."

Boudreaux recommends taking any used car up for sale to a mechanic for a computer diagnostic before finalizing a purchase.

Eyewitness News reached out to GEICO but have yet to hear back. 

© 2017 WWL-TV


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