Flood-damaged vehicles from the United States not allowed into Canada: Manitoba Public Insurance

Manitoba Public Insurance is advising anyone looking to purchase a vehicle from the United States to carefully check the status of the vehicle before they close the deal.

“In light of vehicle branding rules in the U.S. and inspections conducted by the Registrar of Imported Vehicles upon entry to Canada, flood-damaged vehicles may not be allowed to be registered in Manitoba,” said Ward Keith, Vice President, Business Development & Communications and Chief Administrative Officer, Manitoba Public Insurance.

“It’s always important for consumers to do their homework prior to making a used vehicle purchase, but this is particularly the case when buying vehicles that may have been damaged in flooding that ravaged areas of Texas and Florida this past summer,” added Keith. “It’s estimated that more than one million vehicles were flooded or heavily damaged due to hurricanes Harvey and Irma.”

Water-damaged vehicles can potentially be dangerous. Water can enter electronic components of vehicles, causing corrosion and malfunctioning of important safety features such as airbags. There may also be health concerns because of mould and other toxins.

Consumers can check the history of a vehicle from the U.S. by going to https://www.carfax.com/press/resources/flooded-cars.

Even if a vehicle is not branded as a flood-damaged vehicle, this doesn’t necessarily mean it did not suffer water damage as in some cases, vehicle damages may not have been reported through vehicle insurers.

As such, a VIN search is only one of the steps a person should take before purchasing a used vehicle. Here are a few more:

  • Have the vehicle inspected by a trusted and certified automotive technician before purchase.
  • Check for damp or musty odours.
  • Check for any signs of rust or mud in the trunk, glove box and beneath the seats.
  • Check under the hood and look for a water line marked by mud or silt.
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