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Even in Nevada, watch out for flood-damaged vehicles resold after hurricanes

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma didn’t swing into Nevada, but car buyers should beware of flood-damaged vehicles potentially making their way into the Silver State, the Department of Motor Vehicles warned on Friday.

Even though insurance companies typically determine these vehicles are a total loss, some of them are repaired and resold throughout the country, Nevada DMV Director Teri Albertson said.

“They may look and run fine, but problems can appear months, or even years, later,” Albertson said in a prepared statement.

It’s legal to sell a “total loss” vehicle, but the damage must be disclosed to the buyer and on the title. However, the DMV warned that some salvage yards try to hide the fact that a vehicle was damaged so that it can sell at a higher price.

Prospective buyers should check a vehicle’s title history on several websites, including the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s VinCheck, the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System or commercial services like Carfax and Experian.

Car buyers should also check for signs of water and grit in the engine compartment and interior, along with water stains, rust, flaky metal parts, dried mud and moldy smells.

Contact Art Marroquin at amarroquin@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0336. Find @AMarroquin_LV on Twitter.

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