Phone: 613.736.1003
Fax: 613.736.1395

Télé: 613.736.1003
Télécopieur: 613.736.1395

Press Release - Flood Damage

Flood damaged Vehicles may enter the Canadian Marketplace

January 10, 2006 - "Beware of vehicles being sold from the U.S. and imported into Canada that may be flood damaged vehicles from the recent natural disasters in the southern U.S." warn CCMTA, Canada's road safety administrators. The Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA), an organization comprising federal, provincial and territorial governments responsible for road safety in Canada, cautions consumers on purchasing used cars with origins along the U.S. Gulf Coast that may be flood damaged vehicles.

According to a recent article from the American Association of Motor Vehicle Transport Administrators, more than one quarter of the two million vehicles in the Gulf Coast area are estimated to have sustained flood damage from Hurricanes Katrina or Rita. To help protect consumers from buying flood damaged vehicles, the states of Louisiana, Texas, Florida, Mississippi and Alabama are branding these vehicle records with variations of "Flood - Salvage".

Under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act administered by Transport Canada, vehicles imported from the United States are processed through the Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV) program. The RIV captures the branding shown on the US Vehicle Titles and makes this information available to all licensing jurisdictions in Canada. Flood vehicles will be treated in the same manner and any branding applied to them in the U.S. will be carried forward in Canada.

Individual provinces and territories have different rules on how to treat these vehicles. Depending on where a vehicle is licensed, the province or territory may consider these vehicles "NON REPAIRABLE". In other words, these vehicles may not be licensed, and could only be used as scrap or parts only. Other jurisdictions may allow the vehicles to be licensed following inspections to ensure the vehicles have been adequately repaired.

According to the RIV, there are a number of practical tips to help consumers when checking vehicles for flood damage:

  • Find out information on the vehicle's history from a Registry Agent. There are also a number of private companies that provide vehicle history for a fee.
  • Prior to purchasing a used vehicle, have it inspected by a trusted and certified automotive technician.
  • A technician specializing in electrical and electronic diagnosis should be consulted if you suspect the vehicle has suffered flood damage.
  • Buy only from a licensed automotive business.
  • Ask the seller directly whether the car has been damaged by water or anything else and obtain the answer in writing.
  • Check for damp or musty odours inside the vehicle and in the trunk.
  • Check for any signs of rust and mud in the trunk, glove box and beneath the seats and dashboard.
  • Check for rusty brackets under the seats or carpets.
  • Look for any discoloured upholstery or carpet that fits poorly or doesn't match exactly.
  • Make sure that all gauges are in working condition.
  • Check underneath the hood and look for a water line that was marked by mud or silt or for evidence of a recent engine shampoo.
  • Test everything, the lights, windshield wipers, turn signals, cigarette lighter, radio etc.
  • Check the heater and air conditioner several times.
  • Look in the vents for signs of water or mud.
  • Have a certified automotive service technician inspect for signs of water or silt in the vehicle's fuse box and electrical junction boxes.
  • Ask to see the U.S. registration of the car, keeping in mind that the registration will only indicate flood damage if the insurance company officially declared the car to have been salvaged.

The general public is advised to check with their province or territory as noted on the following page, before buying a flood damaged vehicle in or from the U.S.

Additional essential information on importing a vehicle can also be obtained at the Registrar of Imported Vehicles at or by calling 1-888-848-8240.

Provincial / Territorial Contact Information

For detailed information on how to obtain a provincial or territorial licence plate, contact the appropriate jurisdiction:

Alberta (780) 427-7013
British Columbia (604) 661-2800
Manitoba (204) 985-7000 or 1-800-665-2410 within MB
New Brunswick (506) 453-2410
Newfoundland and Labrador (709) 729-2519
Northwest Territories (867) 873-7402
Nova Scotia (902) 424-5851 or 1-800-898-7668 within NS
Nunavut (867) 975-6000
Ontario (416) 235-2999
Prince Edward Island (902) 368-5200
Quebec (514) 873-7620 or 1-800-361-7620 within QC
Saskatchewan (306) 775-6900 or 1-800-667-9868 within SK
Yukon (867) 667-5315
Language : English

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