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Positively New Jersey: How did a car damaged by Hurricane Ida end up in Turkmenistan?

How does a car that was totaled by the floods that hit New Jersey after Hurricane Ida wind up back on the road in the Central Asian nation of Turkmenistan?

Oct 18, 2022, 3:01 AM

Updated 636 days ago

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How does a car that was totaled by the floods that hit New Jersey after Hurricane Ida wind up back on the road in the Central Asian nation of Turkmenistan?
That's the question Scott Gurian, a podcaster and journalist from Bloomfield faced when a mechanic he had met on a trip through Asia sent him a video of a Lexus with a New Jersey inspection sticker sitting in the yard of an auto shop in the Karakum Desert.
Gurian set out to track the car and find out how it got from a flooded street in Montgomery Township to the hands of a furniture dealer and Lexus fan halfway across the world.
His story for the podcast "Planet Money" is a deep dive into a network of salvaged cars and a corner of the global economy few ever see.
"When someone's car gets in an accident or it's flooded or whatever happens and the insurance company says, ‘Your vehicle is totaled,’ I think most people assume their car ends up in a junkyard,'' said Gurian.
On today's episode of "Brian's Positively New Jersey,” Brian Donohue speaks with Gurian and Oraz, the Turkmenistan mechanic who first found the car - and, in a remarkable twist - whose life may have been changed by it.


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