What is Car Title Washing?
Car title washing is a common scam usually practiced by people who have got “salvaged” or “flooded” vehicles. This is a type of auto fraud commonly practiced by used car dealerships as well. When a hurricane occurs and lots of vehicles get flood damaged, many dealerships try to sell their used cars hiding real facts about the cars from the potential buyers.
Few people will knowingly purchase flood-damaged or salvaged vehicles, that’s why some used car dealerships start practicing title washing.
Let us now see how car title washing works
Flood damaged cars are usually branded as total losses or “salvage cars” by the insurance companies. This means that the vehicles come to have lower market values, yet they may be driven or even sold. Because few people would buy a salvaged vehicle, car owners transfer salvaged or flood-damaged cars to other states that do not recognize the “branding.” Here the vehicles get new titles that do not show whether the vehicles have been flooded or not. After doing this, fraudsters successfully sell vehicles with washed titles.
Driving a previously flooded vehicle is rather dangerous. The vehicle’s crucial components may have been damaged; the car may rust over time increasing the risk of crashes and injuries. Thus, if you want to avoid becoming a victim of car title washing scam, you should perform a VIN check by the help of AutoCheck or CarFax. These services will allow you learn the vehicle’s history and see whether it has been salvaged, “branded” or not.
If you think you have bought a vehicle that is flood damaged or defective, you should contact a skilled auto dealer fraud lawyer. The Margarian Law Firm is ready to help you. Contact us at 818.616.6151 for more information.