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Is My Car Totaled If the Airbag Deploys?

Is My Car Totaled If the Airbag Deploys? Looking for information on totaled cars and how to sell one? Read our complete guide for more insights.
Owolabi Oluwasegun
Owolabi Oluwasegun
05/14/2023 · 4 min read
two totaled cars in head on collision two totaled cars in head on collision two totaled cars in head on collision

The design and safety features of vehicles have come a long way. With new technology and scientific breakthroughs, safety features like airbags have become common in many vehicles.

If you’re wondering what an airbag is, it’s simple. Airbags are inflatable cushions built into parts of the vehicle’s interior to protect occupants from serious injuries during an accident. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), a combination of airbags and lap and shoulder belts has reduced car accident death risk by 61%.

But even after getting out of an accident, you may wonder what your fate is, especially after your airbag has been deployed. In this article, we address everything you need to know about airbags, your car’s safety, and how to sell your totaled car.

If An Airbag Deploys, Is The Car Totaled?

Your car may not necessarily be totaled after the airbag is deployed. However, a crash severe enough to deploy the airbags may significantly damage your car. It is important to carefully assess your car’s condition after the accident to determine whether it is totaled or not.

When is A Car Considered To Be Totaled?

A totaled car is one whose repair cost equals or exceeds its value.

There’s no hard and fast rule regarding a totaled car. The rule of thumb is to consider your car totaled if the repair cost exceeds 70% of the car’s value.

For example, if your car is worth $10,000 before an accident and its repair cost is estimated at $7,500. Then it can rightly be considered totaled.

totaled car in an accident

Signs Your Car Is Totaled

Wondering how to tell if your car is totaled? Here are some signs to watch out for.

  • If your vehicle has been involved in an accident or badly damaged in a disaster
  • If your vehicle won’t start
  • If it is missing a significant portion of its body
  • If vehicle fluids are leaking
  • If the vehicle’s frame has been significantly damaged by rust or dents
  • If the vehicle has a high mileage

Guide to Totaled Car: All Questions Answered 

If your car is confirmed totaled by the insurance company, then you may need to consider your next steps. Usually, your insurance provider will cover your airbag replacement cost if the car isn’t totaled or you have the right coverage and are not at fault for the accident.

But when your car is written off, then you need to consider the next steps for the totaled car.

We’ve taken time to answer some important questions you may have regarding what happens next!

What to Do When Your Car Is Totaled and You Still Owe Money

If your car is totaled and you still owe money, your insurance provider will pay the car’s value to the lender. However, you will be responsible for the remaining costs if the insurance payout is less than the loan amount owed.

If you don’t have insurance coverage before totaling the car, you’ll be required to continue servicing your car loan to the lender until your debt is fully repaid.

What Happens to The License Plates When a Car Is Totaled?

You must remove the license plates from the vehicle if it has been declared totaled or a total loss. Once removed, submit the plates to the DMV and the car’s title to your insurance provider.

Can I Keep My Totaled Car?

Yes, you can keep your totaled car after your insurance provider has deemed it totaled. To do this, your insurance provider will pay you your car’s Actual Cash Value (ACV) minus any deductible and the amount you may sell the totaled carcass.

For clarity, to keep your totaled car, your insurance provider will pay the Actual Cash Value (ACV) – (Deductibles + Estimated Scrap Car Value).

Can I Still Drive a Totaled Car?

You cannot drive a totaled car in its totaled condition. However, you may be able to repair the car, obtain a rebuilt title for it, and return it to the road after it has passed the required inspections.

Please note that it’s often very EXPENSIVE to rebuild a totaled car and get it back on the road. You’ll likely spend less money and time by selling the totaled car and buying a new one.

How to Sell a Totaled Car

The financially smart decision is to contact a junkyard or cash for car buyer to sell your totaled car. Junkyards can often offer up to $500 or more for totaled cars, depending on the scrap metal weight and other factors. If you wish to sell your totaled car to a junkyard, request a free online quote or call +18334961123 to get started.

Alternatively, you can also repair the totaled vehicle by purchasing parts online. You can purchase new or used auto parts online or visit your local auto repair shop.

Keep in mind that you’ll be required to present evidence of the parts used in rebuilding the vehicle during the inspection phase and before a rebuilt title is issued for your totaled car.

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