RICHMOND, VA – In the wake of recent hurricanes and flooding, CarMax, Inc., a retailer of used cars, is advising consumers on how to avoid purchasing flood-damaged vehicles.

"Consumers should be aware that some businesses and individuals may try and sell salvaged and flood-damaged cars without revealing the vehicle's history," said David Claeys, purchasing manager for CarMax. "Flood-damaged cars that are not structurally or mechanically sound could be repaired, retitled, and sold to unsuspecting buyers."

CarMax offers the following 10 tips for identifying a vehicle with possible flood damage:

1. Check for a moldy smell inside the car.

2. Check for rust under the brake or gas pedals.

3. Look for dirt or rust under the dashboard and floormats.

4. Look for corrosion, water marks, or a thin brown line on the exterior of the vehicle.

5. Ask questions about an older car with a brand new interior or carpeting.

6. Check to see if the electrical system works.

7. Feel the carpet for dampness.

8. Inspect the bolts and screws under the seats for evidence of rust.

9. Check the undercarriage for excessive rust.

10. Check the VIN number with AutoCheck or Carfax to see whether a flood claim has been filed or a salvage title has been issued on the vehicle.

CarMax's nationwide team of approximately 700 car-buying experts has appraised more than 5 million cars. Buyers are trained to detect whether a car has flood damage or has been in a major accident.