Vehicle history provider Carfax says there are 212,000 flooded cars and light trucks on the roads or market these days, and many of the most recent ones came through Superstorm Sandy. Carfax says some of the vehicles out there should have been declared lemons but were not.
More than 1.2 million cars and light trucks have been flooded since 1999 with nearly half attributed to Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma in 2005. Superstorm Sandy, which occurred in October 2012, damaged about 250,500 cars, according to Carfax. Carfax compiles vehicle information from state licensing facilities, rental companies, fire and police departments, auction houses and collision repair shops.
Some totaled vehicles do end up back on the market and scams do exist.
Effects of flooding on vehicles can vary, from minor to total loss, in which case a vehicle is supposed to get a salvage title. As always, buyer beware.