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Old 01-11-2016, 01:17 PM   #1
XDCX
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Default At what level do flood waters total a new vehicle?

With the crazy weather the U.S. has been experiencing it seems like it's not uncommon to read about another New Car Dealership that was hit with flood waters as part of a storm pattern.

Here's a link to a report that shows a Ford Dealership with part of their New Car inventory partially submerged - click here

I wonder at what point a vehicle in new car inventory is totaled due to flood water? I'm guessing that once water reaches the bottom of the door sill and floods the interior the vehicle is too far gone to be sold as new.

In some ways I'm betting that the Dealer and the Factory may be on the same side and pressuring the insurance company to total the vehicle. It would be hard to sell a vehicle that was exposed to flooding as new and neither the Dealer or the Factory would want to deal with the headaches that may follow once the vehicle was retailed.
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Old 01-11-2016, 01:57 PM   #2
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I saw maybe 2 cars that water might have been in. New car doors tend to be pretty water tight.

Now, if they started those cars before the water receded, then they will have major problems.
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Old 01-11-2016, 02:31 PM   #3
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I saw maybe 2 cars that water might have been in. New car doors tend to be pretty water tight.

Now, if they started those cars before the water receded, then they will have major problems.
If you're referring to the video in the attached link, the news reports indicated the dealership had in excess of 100 vehicles that would be totaled.

As before, because they are still new cars I can see the Factory pressing the Dealership and the Insurance Company to total the vehicles. I'm guessing the Dealership would be willing to have the vehicles be declared a total loss as long as the claim payment was reasonable and there wouldn't be a huge spike in future insurance premiums.

Another downside for the dealership, however, would be the loss of retail business while they waited for replacement inventory.
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Old 01-14-2016, 10:56 AM   #4
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If it's salt water of any amount then that's the end. Body rust and endless electrical nightmares never quit.
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Old 01-14-2016, 11:44 AM   #5
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If it's salt water of any amount then that's the end. Body rust and endless electrical nightmares never quit.
I agree, salt water is bad news.

There was a story, years ago, about a Chrysler DM who took his Ramcharger to the beach and proceeded to get it stuck in the sand and then flooded with the rising tide.

The story was that the Zone Manager forced the DM to either buy the Ramcharger or lose his job. Granted, the story was told so many times by the time that I heard it that it might be an urban legend but if nothing else I bet the story prevented a lot of young DMs from doing something stupid with their Field Car.
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Old 01-14-2016, 05:00 PM   #6
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You have to consider that the floor pan is vented, and there should be a body vent in a pillar to try to keep the car from being air-tight and the doors not shutting properly. I would think that anything up to the floorpan COULD wreck one pretty badly...
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Old 01-15-2016, 10:52 AM   #7
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You have to consider that the floor pan is vented, and there should be a body vent in a pillar to try to keep the car from being air-tight and the doors not shutting properly. I would think that anything up to the floorpan COULD wreck one pretty badly...
Based on some of the cars that I've seen being sold at the Salvage Auctions I think the insurance companies use the same standard - once the carpets have been flooded it's pretty much a done deal and the car is totaled.
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Old 01-15-2016, 11:59 AM   #8
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From my point of view as a parts manager - all the modules that are low

DURUM or air bag control module - usually under seat separator/console

Audio Amplifier/On Star Module - under passenger seat

Body Control Module/HVAC module - under lowest part of instrument panel

Seat heater/cooler module - under drivers seat
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Old 01-21-2016, 12:32 PM   #9
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Default Two Flood Branded 2015 Lexus RC 350s sold at Mecum Kissimmee

I thought of this thread when I was watching part of the Mecum Kissimmee auction online.

I noticed they sold a 2015 Lexus RC 350 and announced the vehicle had a branded flood title. When I checked Mecum's sales results I noticed they've actually sold two 2015 Lexus RC 350s - both with branded flood titles.

The vehicles sold for $34K and $36K plus fees. MSRP was reported to be $52K and $56K.

In the old days I know a branded title used to cut the book value of a vehicle by approximately 50% - maybe that's no longer the case.
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Old 01-22-2016, 10:55 AM   #10
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Insurance companies will total an inventory en-mass even if just a few vehicles are severely flooded. Adjusters don't have the ability or the time to inspect every single car. Since they are usually on site only after the water has receded, they can't tell exactly how high each car was submerged without a careful examination.
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Old 01-22-2016, 01:16 PM   #11
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Insurance companies will total an inventory en-mass even if just a few vehicles are severely flooded. Adjusters don't have the ability or the time to inspect every single car. Since they are usually on site only after the water has receded, they can't tell exactly how high each car was submerged without a careful examination.
Thanks for the information.

Your explanation makes sense when you figure that the dealership that was linked in the first post lost over 100 vehicles and the flooding didn't look super bad.

The insurance company probably figures it's best just to cut their losses instead of spending a lot of time inspecting each vehicle and then dealing with subsequent headaches if there's more damage related to the flood that couldn't be determined until the vehicle was started and driven.
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