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Used Car Buyers Beware! - Title Washing Is Growing


Emerging Scam Now Plagues Nearly 800,000 Used Cars Nationwide

CENTREVILLE, VA -- Aug. 26, 2014: A dangerous scam that hides major problems with used cars from consumers is on the rise. According to new research from Carfax, nearly 800,000 used cars lurking on America's roads right now may be part of an emerging fraud called title washing. What's also alarming is that more than 500 are likely being used as taxis. Consumers in New Jersey, North Carolina, Mississippi, California and Georgia are most at risk, but thousands of title washed cars are in every state.

Title washing makes rebuilt wrecks and cars with odometer issues look like problem-free used cars on paper. Professional con men illegally alter vehicle documents to get title brands such as 'salvage' or 'flood' removed from a car's title. They'll often patch up the wrecked cars, move them to other states and sell them with a clear title to unsuspecting buyers. Victims can lose thousands and put their lives at risk purchasing used cars with washed titles.

"Our research is clear evidence that title washing continues to fly under the consumer's radar," said Larry Gamache, communications director at Carfax. "These cars are sold mainly by perfect strangers who bank on you not taking the proper steps to protect yourself. Demand more information than just the car's title from any seller and shop at places where vehicle history information is readily available, like the all-new Knowing what you buy and who you buy from are equally important to help avoid dangerous schemes like title washing."

Every Motor Vehicle Department in the U.S. and Canada reports branded titles to Carfax. With this information, consumers get unprecedented protection from Carfax to help identify and avoid hidden problems. Car buyers and sellers can rest assured they'll know about reported title brands under the exclusive Carfax Buyback Guarantee. Plus, Carfax Vehicle History Reports alert people to cases of potential title washing. An inspection by a certified, trusted mechanic is also recommended before buying any used car.


State By State Title Washed Vehicles

New Jersey 77096

North Carolina 74266

Mississippi 57213

California 48411

Georgia 39603

Texas 37431

Virginia 34700

Washington 30697

Tennessee 25413

Illinois 22749

Oregon 21419

Maryland 21101

Kentucky 17761

Michigan 16889

Minnesota 15817

Alabama 15801

Arizona 15331

New York 14304

South Carolina 13729

Missouri 13213

Kansas 12174

Colorado 10173

Florida 10102

Massachusetts 9588

Oklahoma 9159

Pennsylvania 8836

Louisiana 8790

Wisconsin 8286

Indiana 7718

New Mexico 7242

South Dakota 6063

Arkansas 5688

Connecticut 5099

Montana 4808

Nebraska 4710

Ohio 4707

West Virginia 4197

Utah 4087

Iowa 4053

Idaho 3886

Rhode Island 3284

Nevada 2423

North Dakota 2323

Delaware 1933

Maine 1718

Wyoming 1672

Vermont 1612

Hawaii 1501

Alaska 1381

District of Columbia 1089

New Hampshire 994