Should You Buy Car With Airbag Deployed? (Little Known Facts)

Some of the things that are very important when it comes to the safety of the driver and the passenger are the airbags on the car.

We also know that airbags will usually deploy only when the car is in an accident because of how it will only deploy on impact. And that means that the car has an accident history.

If that is the case, should you still buy a used car if you know that its airbag has already been deployed?

Buying a car with airbag deployed

It shouldn’t be a good idea to buy a car with airbags that have already been deployed. While the airbags are important for your safety, the issue is not in relation to the airbags. Instead, you should be more concerned about the extent of the damage to the car due to the accident that deployed the airbags.


When looking at a used car that already has airbags that have been deployed, the bigger issue here is not in relation to the airbags because it doesn’t cost a huge sum of money to have new airbags installed.

The issue is in relation to whether or not there are some hidden damages that you may not have been informed of. As such, you have to be vigilant enough to thoroughly inspect the car.


Is it bad to buy a car with airbags that have deployed?

One of the biggest safety features of any car is the airbag. The reason is that the airbags serve as your first line of defense during a collision as they work together with your seatbelt to make sure that you don’t get injured during a collision.

In that regard, cars that still have their airbags intact should be great buys because you know for a fact that one of the best safety features is still there to keep you safe.

In relation to that, what you should also know is that airbags will almost always only deploy during a collision. That’s because airbags rely on a sensor that is capable of sensing how fast the car decelerates. From there, the airbags will quickly deploy when the sudden deceleration is one that is caused by a collision.

Basically speaking, airbags will deploy during a collision. Collisions only happen during accidents on the road. And when your car’s airbags have been deployed, you need to replace them with new ones because the old ones cannot be used anymore.

That said, if you are in the market for a new car and you find a car that has a good price because its airbags were already deployed, you might be tempted to buy it. But is it a bad idea to buy a car with airbags that have already been deployed?

Normally, it should be a bad idea to buy a car when the airbags have already been deployed. And we have to start with the airbags themselves because, as mentioned, these are some of the most important safety features of any car.

In most cases, the seatbelts should provide enough protection against serious injuries during crashes. However, airbags are very effective at minimizing injuries and fatalities during on-road collisions or accidents.

A 1995 study that took a look at road traffic accidents that happened from 1985 to 1993 suggests that airbags were able to reduce fatalities by around 24% during head-on crashes and around 16% in all other types of crashes compared to cars that relied only on seatbelts. As such, that is a significant decrease in the chances of getting injured or suffering from a fatal crash during an on-road collision.

So, going back, if you buy a car with its airbags already deployed, that means that it doesn’t have any airbags. While it doesn’t cost a whole lot of money to have the airbags replaced, the bigger problem here is that you are still at risk when you drive the car before having new airbags installed. Anything that allows you to flirt with danger should be avoided.

However, the bigger issue here is not in relation to the airbags, per se. While having airbags should be very important when you are driving, you can always have new airbags installed in a car with airbags that have already been deployed. Airbags can be expensive, but they aren’t going to force you to break the bank.

But, instead of worrying about the airbags, you should be worrying about the fact that the vehicle has been through an accident. Again, airbags, when working properly, will only deploy during a strong enough road collision. Minor collisions such as fender benders usually are not enough to deploy the airbags. As such, if the airbags have deployed, that means that the crash was serious and strong enough.

Considering that the car has an accident history that forced the airbags to deploy, you should be worrying about some of the other issues that may or may not have been declared. There is also a good chance that the car was damaged enough but was only salvaged right after the owner sold it after the accident.

There is also the possibility that the accident may have caused other internal damages. But even if the internal components may still be working well, the accident may have bent the car’s frame. And you don’t want a car with a bent frame because it’s going to cost a lot of money to fix a damaged car frame.

In that regard, the issue here is not only in relation to the deployed airbags because those should be the least of your worries. Instead, you should be more concerned about the damage that the accident caused on the used car, as only strong enough collisions will deploy the airbags. And any serious accident is enough to cause damages that may or may not be apparent. 

All that said, it should be a bad idea to buy a used car with airbags that have already been deployed. Still, the choice is entirely up to you because there might still be circumstances that are more than enough to convince you that the car is worth the risk.

Should you buy a car with an airbag deployed?

While it might be a bad idea to buy a car with airbags that have already been deployed, you might be thinking about whether you should be buying that car. It might be true that the risk is quite high when it comes to buying a car with its airbags deployed, but there are still some things you need to look at before deciding to look for another car.

Take a look at the car’s repair history to see if there were any repairs done to it after a crash that forced the airbags to deploy. Make sure that all of the repairs were performed well and that all of the damages have been accounted for before the repairs were done. There might be some cars with hidden damages caused by accidents.

Try to find out the area and extent of the damages by asking the owner or by looking at the car’s repair records. This should give you an insight in relation to how serious the accident was and how huge the damages were.

Of course, try to inspect the car’s frame. There are some cars with internal parts and components that were repaired or replaced after a serious accident. However, the frame was not repaired because the body shop failed to inspect the frame or maybe because the previous owner realized that having the frame repaired is far too expensive.

There is also the fact that insurance companies usually cover airbag replacements as long as the car isn’t totaled and the cause of the accident was not your fault (although there are some insurance packages that cover repairs regardless of fault). So, in that sense, if the car doesn’t have airbags, there is a chance that it was a total wreck and was only salvaged. That’s a chance you shouldn’t be risking.

So, after checking the records and inspecting the car yourself, that is when you should make a decision as to whether or not to buy it. If there is something off about the vehicle’s conditions or repair history, that is when you should walk away and look for a car with airbags that have never been deployed.

How much does it cost to fix a deployed airbag?

If you do intend to buy a car with airbags that have already deployed, what you should know is that you cannot fix a deployed airbag. It might be possible to do so, but it is always better to have the airbags replaced because airbags were designed as single-use safety mechanisms. Trying to repair an airbag might cause issues with your insurance company.

As mentioned, having your airbags replaced can be expensive, but they will not break the bank. In most cases, a single airbag will cost somewhere between $1,000 to $1,500. The cost of an airbag replacement is indeed expensive, but it shouldn’t be too heavy for you if you value your safety.

Some people with cars that need airbag replacement can have their insurance cover the replacement costs if and only if the accident happened when the car was under your ownership. However, if you buy a car in need of airbag replacement, your insurance won’t cover that.


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