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Beware of Vehicles Damaged by Hurricane Sandy | Commentary

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Beware of Vehicles Damaged by Hurricane Sandy
Beware of Vehicles Damaged by Hurricane Sandy

By Tom Torbjornsen

Hello Western New York! It’s Tom Torbjornsen, your automotive guru, hoping you all are well and wishing you a very happy Thanksgiving! Drive carefully and defensively this weekend as some people may celebrate the holiday a bit too much and drive under the influence. And, be sure to check back here each week for my new automotive column.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy it has been determined that up to 250,000 cars were lost in the storm. Unfortunately, many of these damaged vehicles will make their way into the auction circuit via “chop shops.” These are unscrupulous vehicle rebuilders who buy the cars cheap at insurance auction, re-ID and title the cars via “title washing” to remove the insurance damage brand on the title, fix them up to running condition and sell them back into the auction circuit at a premium price. 

Then, an unsuspecting dealer will buy the vehicle at auction and put it on his or her lot to sell. Finally, a customer will buy it and three to six months later the vehicle starts exhibiting signs of major water damage and turns into a money pit. 

How do you avoid such a problem? First and foremost, make sure you buy from a reputable dealer who scrutinizes every vehicle before it goes on the lot for sale. These flood cars can be a nightmare costing you hundreds and even thousands of dollars to repair.

Finally, just a heads up to let you know that if you’re looking for a new or pre-owned vehicle, I’m asking all my friends to look me up at Towne Hyundai on the corner of Southwestern Boulevard and Milestrip Road in Orchard Park. At Towne Auto, we scour every vehicle with a 115-point inspection before it goes on the lot for sale. We’ve been doing this for a long time with a stellar track record of happy customers, so you can rest assured that you’re buying a solid, safe vehicle. 

When you come in, just ask for Tom T. or give me a call at (716) 662-7400, ext 534. I’ll help you find the exact vehicle you are looking for. Having been in the car business for more than 30 years, there’s not much I haven’t seen, so stop by and take advantage of my automotive expertise! I’ll put you into the right vehicle for you, your family and your budget.

Keep rollin’!

Tom Torbjornsen

Tom Torbjornsen is an automotive expert of 38 years. An automotive journalist in good standing with the International Motor Press Association (IMPA) and the Motor Press Guild (MPG), Tom has been the repair and maintenance editor for AOL Autos, At Home Portals and many other websites. You can hear his radio show, “America’s Car Show,”  locally on WKSN 1340 AM via the SSI Radio Network at 8 a.m. Saturday. Tom’s television show, “America’s Car Show,” can be seen on Buffalo’s WBBZ-TV. The show airs at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday and is re-aired at 9 a.m. Thursday and 11 a.m. Saturday. 

For more information, visit www.americascarshow.com and follow America’s Car Show on Facebook for frequent updates. You can find Tom’s latest book, “How To Make Your Car Last Forever,” at Barnes & Nobel and Amazon.com.


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