18 September 2017

Ghana: Experts Warn of Influx of Flood-Damaged Cars From U.S.

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Ghana car dealers have been warned to be wary of the influx of flooded cars from the United States of America (USA) after the devastating hurricanes that hit parts of Texas and Florida.

Speaking in reaction to caution issued by the United States car dealers, Nana Owusu Sekyere, a security analyst, told Business Day in an interview that the difficulty is how do Ghanaians detect these cars are flooded cars imported from the USA after the devastating hurricanes.

"Do we have the resources by way of time, personnel to inspect each and every car that comes into the country and detect if it is a flooded car and the dangers it poses to us?

"Maybe Ghana does not have the capacity because some of these cars will be slipped under the carpet for that matter through the entry ports.

"But people should be educated if not informed to know how to detect defects on vehicles sold at knock down prices," recommended.

Owusu Sekyere further said "It is said if it's too good to be true it obviously not correct and people must be assertive to know that some ridiculous prices will be slapped on cars in the wake of the hurricanes.

"When buying a car that is priced too low there is a problem and even an accident car won't cost that low then you should be asking yourself what has gone wrong.

"If someone is selling you a Hyundai Sonata which costs between sixty and seventy thousand Dollars for twenty thousand Ghana Cedis then you should be mindful that something is definitely wrong somewhere," he said

According to him, apart from the fact that these cars pose danger on the roads, they also pose health risks by emitting fumes that are hazardous to the environment.

Meanwhile, ABC news reported early last week that the deluge of floodwaters from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma that recently inundated parts of Texas and Florida did not spare cars, and experts were warning of a potential rise in flood-damaged vehicles, full of hidden dangers, hitting the market.

"This could be an unprecedented year for the number of flood cars that are damaged, as well as could be cleaned up, and put back on the road," Christopher Basso, a spokesperson for Carfax, a vehicle-history provider, told ABC News.

Basso said that even before these recent monster storms, there had been a 20-percent increase in so-called "flood cars" hitting the roads again.

Harvey and Irma may have flooded an estimated half-a-million to one million cars, according to the firm Cox Automotive.

Basso emphasized that cars that have been previously flooded can potentially hold many hidden dangers.

"It's like putting a computer into a bathtub," Basso said. "It's really impossible to tell when it's going to break those systems down, but sooner or later the mechanical, the electrical, and the safety systems could be compromised which puts you and your family in danger."

Some car owners may try to hide the signs of flood damage to their car before trying to resell them. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, Carfax showed ABC News how in just five hours they could give a makeover to a so-called flood car and make it look presentable, outwardly hiding signs of the damage.

Experts advised that before buying a used car to get a full vehicle history report on the vehicle and take it to a mechanic who can look at it closely for hidden signs of trouble.

"Flooded cars can look great they can run perfectly for the short term but the long term and probably sooner than later those cars are going to break down because they are literally rotting from the inside out," Basso said.

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