Florida is ground zero for flooded cars for sale

(Jason O'Brien / Getty Images)

MIAMI – A new investigation shows the state of Florida is ground zero for flood-damaged cars being sold to unknowing customers.

"Ticking time bombs" is what the Carfax report calls the cars damaged by floods as safety systems in the vehicles are damaged by the water.

Florida is the state with the majority of these dangerous cars.

“This is one of the top states where flood damaged cars end up, either from hurricanes happening here or from those cars moving here,” Chris Basso of Carfax told WJAX.

325,000 flood-damaged vehicles are reported to be back on the road, and many drivers are unaware of the dangers.

Carfax says cars ruined by floods in hurricanes or other disasters are branded by state agencies as being damaged, but show up on used car dealer lots or sold by individuals who withhold the vehicle's history.

Identifying flood-damaged cars is difficult, but click on the Carfax Flood Check to find out about your specific car, and follow these tips when buying a used vehicle.

  • - Find a reputable seller
  • - Ask good questions
  • - Take a sniff of the car (mold and mildew have distinct smells)
  • - Check for damp spots
  • - Look for water stains by lifting carpet
  • - Check the trunk