In May, 7,000 to 10,000 vehicles that were covered by insurance were soaked by floodwaters that hit Texas.
And that's not including the countless cars and trucks that were uninsured.
That is according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, citing data from Copart, a salvage auction company. The bureau is funded by insurance companies and works to prevent insurance fraud.
Historically, about half the vehicles damaged by floods are resold, some to unsuspecting buyers, Carfax Inc. estimates.
The good news is that the federal vehicle electronic title-checking system, the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System, is firmly in place.
Under the auspices of U.S. Department of Justice, the system's goal is to cut down on title fraud, which includes keeping unsuspecting consumers and dealers from being hosed by unscrupulous people selling dried-out salvage and junk cars and trucks.
The bad news is that all states don't fully participate in the electronic system.
Forty-four state motor vehicle titling agencies contribute vehicle title data to the system. Only 38 make inquiries before issuing new titles, according to the system's website, vehiclehistory.gov.
Salvage yards, junkyards and auto recyclers from every state are required to submit monthly reports to the database.
Ninety-six percent of the country's motor vehicle department titles are represented in the national title information system, based on 2012 Federal Highway Administration data, the system's website boasts.
But holes in the system increase the likelihood that dried-out flood cars and rebuilt wrecks will be back on the road. Those bogus cars compromise vehicle safety, hurt prices and put consumers, dealers and auctions at risk.
"Anytime you have a number of states not fully participating, you create some weakness in the system," said Jim Moors, director of franchising and state law at the National Automobile Dealers Association.
The database of vehicle titles allows states to submit and share with one another information about damaged vehicles that have been issued title brands such as "junk," "scrapped," "salvage" and "water damage."
Moors said that though he does not have data to back it up, title washing is still an industry concern for dealers. The concern becomes even more acute when there is a big storm such as Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans in 2005, or Superstorm Sandy, which soaked the East Coast in 2012.
The Justice Department has worked hard to encourage states to participate fully and has seen significant, albeit slow, progress over the past five years, Moors said. "But I think we'll get there," he added.
A common reason for delays is antiquated computer systems that are costly and time-consuming to replace, according to some states responding to queries from Automotive News.