What disclosures are required for sales of flooded vehicles?

On Behalf of | Feb 6, 2024 | Auto Dealer Fraud

In Connecticut, as in many states, specific disclosure requirements are in place to protect buyers from unknowingly purchasing vehicles that have been damaged, including those damaged by flooding.

Flood-damaged cars can have various hidden problems, from electrical system malfunctions to mold and corrosion. Because of this, transparency regarding a vehicle’s history, especially regarding flood damage, is legally mandated during the sale process.

Branded titles for flood-damaged vehicles

Vehicles severely damaged by flooding are often given a “flood” brand on their titles by insurance companies. This branding indicates the vehicle’s history to potential buyers. In Connecticut, if a car has been branded as flood-damaged, the seller must ensure the buyer knows the branding when selling a branded vehicle.

Importance of VIN checks

Prospective buyers in Connecticut are advised to conduct a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) check before purchasing a used car. This check can provide a detailed vehicle history, including any records of flood damage, insurance claims or title branding. Conducting a VIN check is a critical step in due diligence for buyers to avoid unknowingly purchasing a flood-damaged vehicle.

Legal ramifications for non-disclosure

If a seller fails to disclose flood damage or misrepresents the condition of a vehicle, they could face legal consequences. Buyers who discover undisclosed flood damage may have grounds for a legal claim against the seller, including potential damages and rescission of the sale. Seeking assistance from someone familiar with these matters is critical for any buyer who learns they unknowingly purchased a flooded vehicle.