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Database Listing Flood-Damaged Vehicles Doubles

The purpose of the database is to protect consumers looking to purchase a used car.

A Motor Vehicle Commission database that lists vehicles issued flood or salvage titles following Hurricane Sandy has doubled in size since being introduced in January, State officials said Thursday.

The purpose of the database is to protect prospective buyers of used vehicles from unknown flood damage that may not be reported by the seller. Currently, the number of vehicles with flood or salvage titles in the state database is approximately 26,000.  

According to a release, it is not illegal to sell a vehicle with a flood or salvage title, but sellers are required to disclose the status of such titles to potential buyers.

“Omission of material facts to buyers, such as the existence of a flood or salvage title, violates the state’s Consumer Fraud Act. We will take action against those who attempt to deceive used car buyers, including the filing of lawsuits where warranted, in order to protect consumers,” Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa said in a release.

The online database can be visited at www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/floodedcars. The service allows users to enter unique Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN) to see if the vehicle has been issued a flood or salvage title.

According to a release, before purchasing a used vehicle, consumers shoud

  • Check the vehicle's title history and be wary if the vehicle has been titled multiple times over a short time period.
  • Obtain a vehicle history report from the dealer, or get one yourself from a reputable source; this will let you know if the car has been damaged in the past
  • Look for an insurance company's name on the title history, and contact the company for vehicle information.
Mr. B March 16, 2013 at 11:38 AM
Green, why would you be going through FEMA if you have insurance? I lost my car and it never even came to thought to call FEMA, called my insurance (Geico) and they were here the next day and made me an offer for the total loss immediately, my finance co. had the check in less than ten days.
John Hay March 16, 2013 at 01:09 PM
Get your free Hurricane Sandy "Days Gone By" here: http://www.orijinations.com/HTML/JH/SandyDay.html Works great on any desktop or laptop. Sorry, won't work on all Smartphones.
Walking Dead March 16, 2013 at 10:41 PM
My friends lost 5 cars.......5...
Rick March 16, 2013 at 10:59 PM
Aw, poor baby. Didn't they have car insurance? Didn't they think to get their cars out of harm's way?
Walking Dead March 16, 2013 at 11:09 PM
Rick, ya think. They have car insurance. Everyone has a new car now, well 2 years old. I moved our vehicles to Pine Beach.

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