We believe that we can deal with almost everything until nature decides to demonstrate that we are mostly helpless against its forces, no matter how technologically advanced our civilization is.
Hurricane Sandy that crashed onto the East Coast this week has sadly claimed many lives; and that pales in comparison to everything else.
Still, however harsh it may sound, life goes on and the survivors have to deal with the aftermath. Sandy being a hurricane and then a super storm has inflicted big damages. Besides homes, cars are probably the most expensive, as well as exposed, items that were flooded or broken by other means, such as falling trees.
One question that pops into mind is what happens to all those vehicles?
According to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the past the rule of thumb for flooded cars was that if water had reached the level of the ashtray, then the vehicle was classified as totaled.
Nowadays, though, vehicles are much more complex due to the electronic systems that they feature and most of the times, are too expensive to fix, so the above rule no longer applies.
Even if they are repaired, their owners may have to dump them. Ricky Beggs, VP and managing editor of wholesale market for used car dealers guide "The Black Book", explains that damaged vehicle reports such as CarFax is available to everyone on the Internet. Thus, it’s very easy to spot a flooded car that’s been repaired from which any buyer would walk away.
Beggs told the WSJ that due to the wide front of the storm the impact “could be bigger than Katrina”. Moreover, it’s quite possible that many newer vehicles would be replaced as the Northeast has a bigger percentage of leased vehicles that, typically, are only a few years old.
It’s not only car owners but dealerships that suffer damages from floods. While the buildings are usually located on high ground, their inventory can easily be totaled as they are exposed like any other vehicle.
If this happens, said cars can’t be sold as new even if they have zero miles on their odometer, which hurts dealers financially.
On the other hand, owners of damaged vehicles will need to replace them. As Beggs points out, that will cause an increase of both new and used car sales…
By Andrew Tsaousis