The airbag of a car cannot be fixed after an accident. Even though it can be costly, you must have it replaced. Manufacturers design modern airbags for a single use. When they were first introduced, mechanics could reset some airbags. Today, however, mechanics must replace the safety devices after each deployment. This is true regardless of whether it was the airbag in your steering wheel, your passenger-side dash, your side panels, or your seat.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) offers this advice:
- Replace any used airbags immediately after a car crash;
- Only use an authorized service center; and
- Do not drive your car until the airbag replacement is complete.
What Does Replacing an Airbag Entail?
It is imperative you have a mechanic replace the airbags in your vehicle after they deploy and before you drive the car again. Replacing an airbag requires special skills. The technician must remove the entire airbag module and replace it with a new one. Depending on the circumstances, the make and model of your car, the airbags that deployed, and other factors, this could also require removing or replacing:
- The steering wheel;
- Sections of the dash;
- The seats; and
- Other parts of your car’s interior body (e.g., side panels).
Once the technician removes the old airbag and installs a new one, he will need to reset the airbag sensors to ensure they function if there is another crash. If he fails to perform this step properly, you and your family will not have the protection of an airbag during a crash.
It is important that you have a technician at an authorized service center replace your airbag. Airbags are key in reducing injuries and preventing deaths in crashes. You want to make sure your new airbag is properly installed and ready to protect you.
If you opt for an unauthorized repair center, you might end up with a used airbag, a questionable product, or even a defective model purchased from a junk car lot or auto salvage company. This could leave you and your passengers unprotected in a crash. In some instances, such as the case with a defective Takata airbag, you and your passengers could suffer additional injuries in the event of a crash.
How Much Does It Cost to Replace an Airbag After an Accident?
According to CostHelper, the costs of replacing an airbag depend on many different factors, including the make, model, and year of the vehicle; how many airbags deployed; the location of the deployed airbags; and what parts are required to replace the unit. You can expect a bill of anywhere between $1,000 and $6,000 for your replacement; the average cost is between $3,000 and $5,000.
You could be looking at a much higher cost if the deployment of your airbags caused your insurer to declare your vehicle a total loss.
When Will an Airbag Deployment “Total” My Car?
It is a common myth that an insurance company will always consider your vehicle a total loss if your airbags deploy in an accident. This is only true if the costs of replacing your airbags or repairing your vehicle costs more than the total value of your car.
This means that if you have an older model car or if your vehicle sustained serious damage, the insurance company might consider it totaled. For example, if your vehicle is worth $8,000, but the replacement and repair costs eclipse this number, the insurer will declare your vehicle a total loss.
Discuss Your Accident with the Newsome Melton Team Today
The costs that involved parties face after a car accident can be astronomical, especially if they involve replacing your airbags or even your vehicle. If you were in an accident and wish to discuss options for recovering compensation, call the team at Newsome Melton. Our consultations are always free: 888-808-5977.