The short answer is that it depends on what your state defines as totaled –which is when a car is deemed beyond repair because the cost of fixing it outweighs its value. A deployed airbag itself contributes to that repair cost up to $1,000.
So, it’s not unheard of if a deployed airbag does cause a car to be deemed a total loss if the accident is severe enough. Of course, your car insurance provider will also play a role in determining whether your car can be repaired or not. Let’s look at what else you’ll need to know about airbag deployments and total losses.
What Happens When an Airbag is Deployed?
Airbags are typically deployed when the car meets enough force that is the equivalent of running into a wall head-on at least ten mph. The severity of the accident is immediately measured by sensors as soon as it begins. Sensors notify inflators to fill the bags with gas in less than a second if the collision is serious enough.
Airbags seldom need to be replaced unless they are used in a collision. They must be changed at an authorized dealer or repair shop that uses OEM replacement components to ensure that the new airbag is genuine. Bootleg airbags may not deploy or eject metal shrapnel during deployment.
What do You do After an Airbag is Deployed?
After the accident occurs, it’s crucial that the police are contacted and are on the scene along with any medical personnel should their services be required. Once everyone is safe, it’s a matter of assessing damage and insurance becoming involved.
Airbags must be replaced as soon as possible since they are one-time use only, and it’s not safe to drive a vehicle missing any. While there is no written law stating this, police officers will pull over drivers if they are capable of noticing deployed airbags the same way they do with burnt-out headlights.
Your car’s engine shouldn’t be affected by the airbag’s deployment, and your car should still run –assuming it didn’t sustain that great of damage in the crash.
How Are Airbags Replaced?
Deployed airbags should be replaced by technicians at approved service locations as soon as possible. During that time, the car should be driven as little as possible. Approved technicians not only get the job done right but also in a timely manner. As previously mentioned, airbag replacements aren’t exactly on the cheap side, with the average cost being around $1,000.
Services can be made more expensive or harder if there is any damage to the steering wheel, dashboard, and other areas of the car’s front interior. Other parts of the approved technician’s service include seat belt replacement and any wiring that was put in disarray by the airbag being deployed.
When Would a Car be Considered a Total Loss?
As previously mentioned, it depends on your car’s value and your state’s laws regarding how much the cost of repair must exceed it in order to be considered a total loss. Every state uses a percentage-based formula.
Some use 70% of the value of the car, while others use 100%. Most totaled cars after an accident have had their airbags deployed. But it’s never the airbags that cause a car to be totaled; it’s the accident. Your insurance provider is the one who estimates how much the repairs will be and makes the final call.
Are Airbags Required to Get Car Insurance?
Airbags are a standard feature in cars and have been for over 50 years, so insurance companies will raise some eyebrows when they are missing from a car they are supposed to insure.
Insurance companies actually look at vehicles’ safety features when determining policy rates. They also give them an idea of how much of a risk the car will be to insure. Features like airbags and anti-theft locks can earn any driver a small break in their premiums. All in all, deployed airbags don’t always mean the car is totaled.
The only way to find the best rates on your car insurance is by getting a quote from Insurance Navy. Insurance Navy offers free quotes to all drivers. Call us at 888-949-6289 or get started online. Our expert representatives are available to assist you in person at any of our locations.