New York Senator Schumer Wants Stronger Consumer Protection From Flood Cars

The New York Senator is concerned about cars flooded in last year's hurricanes being resold to unsuspecting customers.

Winter Storm In Boston
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New York Senator Chuck Schumer called upon the Federal Trade Commission on Sunday to provide stronger protection for consumers against flood cars being cleaned up and sold to them without knowledge of their damage, reports the New York Post.

The hurricanes that struck the South last summer resulted in countless cars being totaled from flood damage. Hurricane Harvey was responsible for destroying half a million cars in Texas alone. These cars may be resold at auction, and their titles are supposed to reflect their flooded, totaled status. There are good reasons why flood cars shouldn't be put back on the road, but they can still be extremely useful for parts. YouTuber Samcrac, for instance, bought a flood-damaged Chevy Spark to donate parts to rebuild his Domino's Pizza DXP cars.

But sometimes a flood car's status slips through the cracks, either by accident or as a result of unscrupulous sellers trying to make a quick buck. According to Schumer, a "hurricane car" can be cleaned up for as little as $2,000 to look as good as new inside and out. It can then be sold to unsuspecting buyers for more than enough profit to cover the clean-up cost. Even honest sellers may genuinely have no idea that a car on their lot has been flood-damaged due to a lack of documentation.

In January the FTC published a handy guide to help consumers spot one of these cars. But Schumer wants the FTC to go even further. He says the FTC should expand the Used Car Rule, which, among other things, requires dealers to disclose any major problems with the cars they sell and include specific checks and disclosures for flood-damaged vehicles. This would put the burden on dealers, rather than consumers, to ensure that flood-damaged cars remain off the road and in the scrapyard where they belong.