I-Team: Concerning Number of Flood-Damaged Cars Reported in Western Massachusetts

www.wwlp.com, Kate Wilkinson, February 9, 2023

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Flood-damaged cars typically come from areas impacted by hurricanes and are usually sent to salvage.

However, a local consumer protection office said a concerning number is being sold to people in the Pioneer Valley. When the occasional flood car arrives, they limit the parts that can be repurposed.

Paul Bachand is the President of Westover Auto Salvage in Belchertown, “Because you know you’re gonna have problems,” he said. “Body parts and things like that are okay. Things like [the] headlights if they didn’t go under.”

How flood-damaged cars arrive in Massachusetts:

CARFAX estimated Hurricane Ian brought along water damage to 358,000 vehicles. That’s why flood cars often come from places like Texas or Florida. However, the Springfield Mayor’s Office of Consumer Information said some are trickling into western Massachusetts.

“They make it up to New Hampshire for example and then they auctioneer and then they get sold and then a local dealership will buy it and not tell the consumer, especially if it’s a branded title,” said Director Milagros Johnson.

She told the 22News I-Team that New Hampshire’s Lemon Law protections only cover new vehicles, while Massachusetts will protect used vehicles under 125,000 miles.

Best line of defense when buying a car: Continue Article