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09/20/2017 02:37 PM EDT

Mills and Dunlap inform consumers how to check vehicle history to avoid flood damage

AUGUSTA – In light of the anticipated high volume of flood-damaged automobiles in the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, Maine Attorney General Janet Mills and Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap recommend that consumers inform themselves about their rights before purchasing a used vehicle.

After past hurricane events, authorities reported truckloads of flooded vehicles being taken out of the impact zone where they were dried out, cleaned and readied for sale to unsuspecting consumers in states that do not brand flood vehicles. It is estimated that due to Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, as many as 1 million flood-damaged automobiles could be passed on to unsuspecting buyers in the coming weeks and months.

“We encourage prospective purchasers to be aware of their rights and the resources available to them from Maine and the federal government,” said Attorney General Mills. “The Office of the Attorney General and the Secretary of State’s Office both fight to protect consumers from unscrupulous business practices and offer resources for consumers to access before buying a vehicle.”

The Maine Office of the Attorney General has consumer information available at http://www.maine.gov/ag/consumer/motor_vehicles/index.shtml specific to purchasing new and used vehicles in Maine. Consumers can also call the Attorney General’s Lemon Law Arbitration Program at 626-8848, or utilize the Attorney General’s Consumer Mediation Service by calling 1-800-436-2131 or e-mailing

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