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Groups warns of sellers flood-damaged cars

 

Some car sellers are trying to pass off vehicles damaged during hurricanes, a business watchdog group in Minnesota and North Dakota said.

The Better Business Bureau of North Dakota and Minnesota warned consumers to thoroughly check vehicle history and title information when buying an automobile as flood-damaged cars make their way up to the region, according to a news release. Hurricanes in Texas and Florida have damaged vehicles in the storms’ paths, and some sellers refurbish the vehicles in an attempt to flip them.

“Car shoppers should always be fully informed before making a purchase,” said Susan Adams Loyd, president and CEO of Minnesota and North Dakota BBB. “Past experience tells us some of the cars affected by recent hurricane and flooding activity will be on the market after being restored.”

Those vehicles should have a salvage title and can be purchased for a low price, but buying them can come with risks, including the ability to insure them.

A history report is not foolproof, BBB said, but it can help in deciding whether to purchase a vehicle. BBB suggests asking a trusted inspector to perform a pre-purchase check and looking over the vehicle for signs of flood damage.

April Baumgarten

April Baumgarten joined the Grand Forks Herald May 19, 2015, and covers business and political stories. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, where her family continues to raise registered Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at Jamestown (N.D.) College, now known as University of Jamestown. During her time at the college, she worked as a reporter and editor-in-chief for the university's newspaper, The Collegian. Baumgarten previously worked for The Dickinson Press as the Dickinson city government and energy reporter in 2011 before becoming the editor of the Hazen Star and Center Republican. She then returned to The Press as a news editor, where she helped lead an award-winning newsroom in recording the historical oil boom.

Have a story idea? Contact Baumgarten at 701-780-1248.

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