If you’ve been in a severe car accident, chances are high that your airbags have deployed. Even if the accident is minor, airbags can still deploy to protect you from any potential injuries. Airbags are meant for single use only, so once they are triggered, they must be replaced.
If you have to replace your airbags due to a car crash, you are likely wondering how much it costs. Let’s dive into everything you need to know about car airbag deployment cost.
It’s Just an Airbag – How Expensive Can it Be?
Airbags are part of a more extensive supplemental restraint system (SRS) with many elements, including your airbags. The entire airbag system is made up of the following pieces: the airbags themselves, clock spring, impact sensors, igniter, passenger seat switch, pyrotechnic inflator, control module, and seat belt pretensioners. After the air bag deploys, each component may need to be replaced, as well as the multiple airbags themselves. In modern cars, the driver airbag is most commonly found in the steering wheel, while the passenger side airbag can be found in the dashboard. Some vehicles also include supplemental knee airbags.
Fortunately, options exist to reduce the overall airbag replacement cost, including repairing and resetting the control module and seatbelts. Before you repair these parts, we recommend speaking with a trusted mechanic or technician to review your options.
How Much Do Airbag Replacements Typically Cost?
The cost of replacement airbags will vary depending on the make and model of your vehicle. Generally, you can expect to pay between $1,000 and $4,000 for the entire job. This includes the air bag cost, the components discussed above, and the additional costs for labor.
Costs can be high, considering the technology required to keep your safety system running smoothly. For instance, the airbag control module is responsible for storing crash data, exchanging information with your car’s computer system, and triggering the airbags. If this unit sustains any damage from a crash and is not replaced, it may not respond correctly in another collision. This component alone can cost between $400 to $1200 to replace.
Can I Repair it Instead of Replace it?
Some parts of your vehicle’s safety system may be eligible for repair, including the air bag control module mentioned above. The airbag module is under the center console between the two front seats in most makes and models. It looks like a small box with a metal casing and several ports that resemble an electrical or USB plug. A search online will reveal where your particular vehicle’s airbag control module is located and what it looks like.
A trusted technician will inspect the airbag control module as part of their repair procedures. To do this, they will have to remove the trim to your center console, then unbolt and unplug the airbag control module from its wire harness or airbag plugs. Once this is done, the technician will run diagnostic tests to determine whether or not the control module can be repaired or needs to be replaced.
Seatbelts are another part of your safety system that may be eligible for repair. In a car accident, it is not uncommon for your seatbelt to lock up. This is because a gas charge within your seatbelt apparatus operates during a crash to pull the occupant away from the airbag to reduce the impact.
Minor fender-benders may not require an entire replacement of your seatbelt system. In some cases, technicians can help unlock your seatbelt after a crash or repair the retracting system.
Does Car Insurance Cover Airbag Replacement Costs?
If you have comprehensive car insurance coverage, your insurer may cover the cost of an airbag replacement. It’s always a good idea to check with your insurer beforehand to see if this is the case. In some cases, car insurance companies will opt to write off the car if the repair cost exceeds over 70% of the car’s value. In this case, you will receive the equivalent of your vehicle’s fair market value in cash, and your car will most likely be marked for salvage or irreparable.
If My Car is Written Off, Can I Pursue Repairs on My Own?
When an auto insurance company declares your car a total loss and gives you a settlement for fair market value, it is often less than what you would get in a private sale of your vehicle and, likely, far less than what you may need to purchase another car.
For this reason, it might be tempting to pursue repairs to your vehicle in your own time and pay for them out of your pocket. Unfortunately, once an insurance company declares a car irreparable, this vehicle can only be used for parts.
If your vehicle is marked for salvage, and you disagree with the amount your insurance company offers, you can pursue repairs. In this instance, your car would need to undergo an inspection before you can legally drive it again.
Generally speaking, fixing a vehicle marked for salvage is not financially reasonable. Additionally, to keep a car deemed a write-off, owners must negotiate this as part of their settlement with their insurance company.
The Bottom Line: How Much Does an Airbag Replacement Cost?
Replacing an airbag may be costly, but it’s also necessary. Since airbags were introduced, they have reduced the number of automobile fatalities by 30% – there’s no doubt that they are life-saving pieces of technology. At Safety Restore, we can help you cut down on the total cost of your airbag replacement by offering solutions that will help you reset your airbag control module and remove that pesky airbag dashboard indicator that comes on after a major or minor collision.
The safety of you and your passengers should be at the forefront of your mind when you are driving your vehicle. If you suspect issues with your airbag control module or seatbelts, don’t hesitate to contact Safety Restore. We are a family-owned business with professional service technicians with many years of experience.