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L.I. Official Fears Sandy-Damaged Cars May Be Resold

Abandoned and flooded cars in heavily damaged Rockaway on November 2, 2012. (credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Abandoned and flooded cars in heavily damaged Rockaway on November 2, 2012. (credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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SMITHTOWN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – A Long Island town official is calling for vehicles damaged in Superstorm Sandy to be scrapped for salvage so they can’t be resold.

Smithtown Councilman Thomas McCarthy fears the vehicles, many corroded by saltwater, may wind up on out-of-state used car lots.

“Saltwater is unforgiving,” McCarthy told 1010 WINS. “They’ll spend thousands of dollars on a car thinking they’re getting a decent deal and all of a sudden they have to go chase someone down to try to get their money back. I think we need to stop the potential perpetration of fraud on a consumer in advance.”

McCarthy, a former auto dealer, said many states don’t require vehicle titles to indicate a car may have had flood damage.

“I know you have Carfax out there where people can check but not everybody checks it,” McCarthy said.

He believes destroying vehicles is the only way to ensure they’re not resold and is calling on state lawmakers to draft legislation requiring storm-damaged cars to be scrapped for salvage.

Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick said he’d consider drafting legislation if it appears current statutes are inadequate.

According to insurance industry estimates, approximately 230,000 vehicles in the region were damaged or destroyed by Sandy.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)