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Can damaged/repaired new cars still be sold as new?

I am looking to buy a new car and was wondering… If a new car is damaged, say by a hurricane, then rebuilt, can it still be sold as new since it has never had an owner? I know about checking CarFax for this type of thing, but since there can be a lag, how do I know that damage just hasn’t shown up on the report yet? If there was a problem down the road, would it be covered under warranty since it was sold as new?
Thanks

Call your car insurer and give then the VIN of the car you want to buy. They can check the databases available to see if this car has been damaged in your hurricane. Any major insurer should be willing and able to do this. Who is you insurer?

I believe a car can be sold as new as long as it was never titled, but I also believe if the damage is over a certain $amount it must be reported to …and will show up on carfaxes, etc.

I think @meaneyedcatz is right. Vehicles are damaged in transit to dealers sometimes and they are repaired and sold as new. That’s the way it worked a few years ago.

Several years ago here we had a severe hailstorm that caused $400 million in damages. Many cars were damaged and subsequently repaired. However, these cars were sold at a discount with full disclosure of the damage and repairs. The manufacturers issued a full warranty since the cars had not been driven.

Thank you for the replies. I was specifically thinking about cars that might have been in hurricane Sandy. Not simple types of damage, like hail. The car I’m looking at is in Idaho which is a non disclosure state, apparently. Was just concerned that they don’t have to tell me this info.

If you like the car, hire a mechanic to go over it with a fine toothed comb.

Have the seller come along, if need be.

If the seller doesn’t agree to this, RUN AWAY.

Here’s information about salvage titles in Idaho:

http://itd.idaho.gov/dmv/VehicleServices/SalvageVehicles.htm

The surest way to avoid a vehicle damaged by Hurricane Sandy is to make sure it was build after October, 2012. The date of manufacture is on a sticker on the driver’s door frame.

Just thinking out loud but if you don’t trust the dealer to give you a new car, I think I would look elsewhere. A new car is one that has not been titled to someone else. If a car was a total loss, it would have been titled over to the insurance company and bought by them. I don’t believe minor damages would be recorded anywhere, but flooding is not a minor damage and should result in a total loss. You should be able to see the paperwork for transport from the assembly plant to the dealer and if it side-stepped to NY or NJ, then to Idaho, I wouldn’t touch that thing for anything. The new car sticker will have the destination information printed on it. One that came from the factory to Idaho should be the norm. Yes some cars are traded by dealers but that information should be available. Many cars though have some repairs done at the dealer that have been damaged in transit or in the lot and most of the time its not an issue.

My best guess is that you don’t have to worry. I can’t think of a factory that would have been affected by Sandy, nor a reason why the car would have been in an area that was. The main thing you have to worry about is used cars from Sandy, but a flooded car is usually pretty obvious and very rarely worth repairing.

“My best guess is that you don’t have to worry. I can’t think of a factory that would have been affected by Sandy, nor a reason why the car would have been in an area that was.”

There are a lot of car dealers, though.

“you don’t have to worry. I can’t think of a factory that would have been affected by Sandy, nor a reason why the car would have been in an area that was. The main thing you have to worry about is used cars from Sandy, but a flooded car is usually pretty obvious and very rarely worth repairing.”

Unfortunately, the above statements are wrong on all counts.

Unscrupulous people do perform some superficial repairs to flood-damaged vehicles, while leaving most of the (less obvious) problems unresolved, and the unsophisticated buyer of that damaged vehicle will be the one who suffers. Therefore, Caveat Emptor is the operative term.

Because over 13,000 NJ cars were titled as “salvage” or “flood” cars after Hurricane Sandy, the Office of The NJ Attorney General has created a searchable database that buyers of used cars can use to determine if they are being sold “damaged goods”. Because those damaged cars will–in many cases–“migrate” to other states and be re-titled with a “regular” title, everyone in the market for a car–either used or “new”–should consult this database.

Take a look at:
http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/floodedcars/

I’m glad I’m not in the market for a used car right now.

Cars damaged in transit are commonly repaired and sold as new, however in the case of hurricane damaged vehicles requiring major repairs they would have been claimed by the dealers against their insurance and sent for recycling. Selling them after collecting on an insurance claim is something I don’t think any dealer would do. Too risky. In most states it’d probably be insurance fraud. It would probably also cause them to lose their franchise.