Carfax Research Shows Water-Ravaged Vehicles Washing Up in Every State

CENTREVILLE, Va., Aug. 2, 2013 – Hundreds of thousands of flooded cars have washed up on the shores of every state in the country. According to new research from Carfax, more than 212,000 cars that were branded as flood damage by a state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) are on U.S. roads right now.

Nearly two-thirds of these flood damaged cars are on the road in ten states – Texas, New Jersey,Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Louisiana, Illinois, New York, Florida, Mississippi and Virginia. However, as the Carfax research shows, scam artists are moving flood cars to any state where unknowing consumers will buy them.

“Our research proves that flood damaged cars are everywhere,” said Larry Gamache, communications director at Carfax. “It’s big business for professional con men to quickly clean up and resell these cars miles from where the flooding occurred. Consumers need to look out for flooded cars no matter where they live. They’re a serious danger to anyone who unknowingly buys one.”

Floodwater, especially salt water like from Superstorm Sandy, rots and corrodes vehicles from the inside out. Carfax recently recovered a Hurricane Sandy flood car to analyze the extensive internal water damage as well as demonstrate how easily cars can be made to appear safe and reliable on the outside.

“Flood cars are a volatile mixture of water, metal and electricity,” continued Gamache. “Once a car is ravaged by water, the mechanical, electrical or safety systems can fail at any time. There’s also the health risk, as mold and bacteria permeate the vents and soft parts of the interior. Know what you’re putting you and your family into before laying down your hard-earned money. Start with a Carfax Vehicle History Report and thorough inspection by a trusted mechanic.”

Historically, about half of the cars damaged by floods get resold, some to unsuspecting buyers. As a service to consumers, Carfax lets you check for flood damage free of charge at


The National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) is the federal government’s response to addressing auto fraud and protecting consumers by consolidating vehicle history information from across the nation and granting consumer access to it. NMVTIS Reports can help you make a smarter buying decision about a used car or truck.

Scroll to Top