Insurers are warning consumers about water damaged cars cropping up for sale, urging them to look for signs and to check Waka Kotahi’s written off vehicle register.
Approximately 524 vehicles were added to the register as write-offs between 1 and 22 February, with each being classed as water damaged.
“Until they are properly repaired and certified as such, flooded vehicles pose a safety risk, which is why insurers write them off in the first instance,” said Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) Chief Executive, Tim Grafton.
“When writing them off, insurers deregister them as water damaged write-offs on Waka Kotahi’s Motor Vehicle Register then dispose of them through salvage companies.”
Electrical components can begin to corrode event after weeks of exposure to water, meaning problems aren’t always apparent. This can affect many systems on a vehicle like those to do with safety.
If a vehicle is classed as a water damaged write-off, it must be inspected, repaired and then be certified by Waka Kotahi-approved agents before it can be re-registered. However, a permanent record of the car being water damaged will remain.
Insurers recommend that owners of water damaged cars, trucks, or bikes should take them to be inspected by a main dealership or appropriately qualified independent experts.