Jesse White

Jesse White Warns Illinoisans of Purchasing Flood-Damaged Cars From Hurricane Ida

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White warned Illinoisans Wednesday to be wary of flood-damaged cars from Hurricane Ida and other natural disasters when purchasing used vehicles.

“We are taking steps to ensure that flood-damaged vehicles from hurricanes do not receive clean titles in Illinois,” White said. “While my office will do everything it can to protect Illinoisans, it is always important that consumers also take active steps to protect themselves from purchasing damaged vehicles.”

According to a release, White has told his office to "closely monitor" title applications involving possible flood vehicles -- meaning cars coming from counties impacted by flooding must be properly identified and labeled.

Those interested in purchasing used cars can gain more insight about the vehicle through obtaining a National Motor Vehicle Title Information System history report here, White said.

CARFAX also provides the following information for the signature signs of flooding in vehicles, according to officials:

  • A musty odor in the interior, which sellers sometimes try to cover with a strong air-freshener
  • Upholstery or carpeting that may be loose, new, stained or doesn’t seem to match the rest of the interior
  • Damp carpets
  • Rust around doors, under the dashboard, on the pedals or inside the hood and trunk latches
  • Mud or silt in the glove compartment or under the seats
  • Brittle wires under the dashboard
  • Fog or moisture beads in the interior lights, exterior lights or instrument panel

In order to check for flood damage, CARFAX said to turn on the ignition and check that all panel lights illuminate. All lights, air conditioning, windshield wipers, radio, turn signals and heating should also be tested.

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