The Used Vehicle Title Washing Scam

Here is how to be aware of the used vehicle title washing scam and how you can avoid this car scam.

California Police collect more than 500,000 vehicle accident reports each year and about 25,000 of those vehicles are considered "totaled".

A "totaled" vehicle is one that is considered so damaged (approximately 75%) that it wouldn't be economically feasible to fix it up.

The titles (certificate of ownership, pink slip, etc.) of those totaled vehicles are then surrendered to the Department of Motor Vehicles and then the DMV issues what is called a "Salvage Title."


Thousands and thousands of cars in the United States were flooded (literally sunk in water for days!) due to the hurricanes. These cars might look clean but will end up costing thousands of dollars in repairs because of the severe damage done to the electrical systems from being flooded. The only way to protect yourself is with a vehicle history report.

Nearly half of those 25,000 totaled vehicles are pieced back together and then re-sold to unsuspecting buyers, and this is where the used vehicle title washing scam happens.

Its not illegal for anyone to fix up and sell a car with a salvage title, but as soon as a buyer see's the word "Salvage" on a title it usually freaks them out.

For that reason, salvage title vehicles are really hard to sell and have terrible resale value.

Whats the big deal about buying a salvage vehicle?

The big deal is...

:: The frame might be bent, which means it will never track straight and you will go through tires like crazy.

:: The electrical system may have endless problems because its been jury rigged.

:: The vehicle will rattle, shake and vibrate because parts aren't lined up properly.

:: The trunk, hood and doors don't line up and now the vehicle leaks and nothing closes quite right.

:: Body panels don't line up and just look plain funky.

:: Horrible re-sale value for you, etc, etc.

So what does an unscrupulous sleazy sub-human scumbag trying to sell a salvage vehicle have to do with the used vehicle title washing scam?

The used vehicle title washing scam part of this involves taking the titles of those same pieced back together vehicles and re-titling them in another state thereby removing the "Salvage Vehicle" status from the vehicles title.

BINGO! Instant high re-sale value!

Another name for the used vehicle title washing scam is Lemon Laundering.

Many states are now making laws to protect consumers from the used vehicle title washing scam but the problem is that many of these bills are riddled with loop holes.

The only way to know for sure that you don't fall victim to the used vehicle title washing scam is to get the VIN (vehicle identification number) off the vehicle and get a get a vehicle history report so you will avoid the used vehicle title washing scam.


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