Violent road crashes lands fourth on the top 10 leading fatalities in the United States following heart attack, cancer, and chronic respiratory disease. The recent data presented by the National Safety Council indicates the resurgence of extremely high casualty rate due to road collisions since 2007. The 2016 estimates have climbed up to 40,000 deaths – exceeding the annual projection of the Association for Safety International Road Travel by up to 3,000. America has spent a total of $432 billion in terms of property damage.
Given this data, it is important to acknowledge the fact that 2017 is a dangerous year to be driving on the road. More than ever, every American who owns a car must have a working airbag that prevents them from becoming another part of the grim statistic. Airbags have saved thousands of lives from what may have looked like a genocidal yearly body count without it. A durable, efficient and ‘kinetically’ safe air bag could mean the difference between life and death should a driver meet a slightly ill-fated transportation routine.
Considering the persistence of high mortality rate caused by road collisions, the necessity of having a good airbag in a four-wheel vehicle has become practically non-negotiable. Every registered automobile is required to install one, and the federal government has made it illegal for any car owner or driver to remove it from the steering column and dashboard. Most importantly, all motorists are compelled to replace used or defective airbags as safety protocol.
National Average Cost
Although most of the automobiles that are widely distributed across the country already have built-in airbags, there are relatively old second-hand varieties (e.g. used cars) in good working condition that may lack this vital safety measure. In the United States, the average airbags price may vary depending on which part of the front seat requires padding. Here is the projection of cost for each type of airbag unit:
- Driver’s Seat: $200 to $700
- Passenger Seat: $400 to $1,000 or more
However, the absence of car airbags is just one thing. It is important to consider the fact that replacement of used or defective airbags is priced differently. So, how much does it cost to replace airbags? The conservative estimate places the overall budget of most American consumers to be anywhere between $1,000 and $6,000. This price range may already include the nuts and bolts required for putting together an all new airbag.
DIY or Professional Help
Apart from the airbags price, a crucial part of the overall spending in terms of replacement is the cost of hiring mechanics working in auto repair shops and/or car dealerships. After all, these two places are deemed as the conventional sources of airbag replacements. It is important to understand that auto mechanics are usually paid per hour, while a specific location in the country largely affects the diverse cost disparity. Here is a broad projection of the hourly rate based on Quora’s online forum:
- Independent repair shops: $70 to $90
- Car dealerships: $80 to $125
When asking ‘how much does it cost to replace airbags,’ a good number of handy American consumers may consider the cost to hire mechanics as a separate issue. In other words, car owners who know their way around the intricate anatomy of their vehicles may not always turn for help if they can manage it on their own. An article in Wiki How underscores the following basic steps in getting through the rudimentary sequence of the do-it-yourself (DIY) process:
- Find the steps in the ‘airbag section’ of the car’s user manual, or contact the seller and manufacturer if there isn’t one.
- Abide by all safety precautions (e.g. deactivating everything and all the disconnecting negative cables, deploying the airbag, etc).
- Carefully examine the collapsible steering column and the clock spring.
- Manually installing the new airbag into the system.
Why Choose Hybrid Cars?
In relation to the subject of buying new and replacing old airbags, prospective car owners may benefit from buying or leasing hybrid cars over conventional ones. Based on the analysis of Consumer Reports, hybrid cars have a number of fairly advanced built-in features in its overall machinery. One particularly striking edge possessed by all hybrid automobiles is its avant-garde and sophisticated safety features.
Hybrid cars often have airbags with head padding and side curtains. This protective addition is complemented by its advanced electronic stability control. In essence, these two revolutionary advancements in automobile safety emergency keep passengers from being jettisoned through the broken windshield during a violent rollover. Until the event of an ill-fated traffic collision, an airbag replacement cost is removed from concerns of hybrid car owners.
About the Takata Recall
As mentioned earlier, airbag replacement cost is motivated by either of the two causes: if the airbag is already used, or if the airbag is defective. Speaking of the latter cause, a huge global recall of all airbags distributed by Takata Corporation was issued in 2016 due to a number of related deaths (18) and serious injuries (180) in the United States.
It was discovered that a certain component in the airbag inflation design is flawed, causing millions of airbags following the aforementioned blueprint to explode and send metal fragments inside the car. The New York Times mentioned a number of automobile models that still remain at high risk of containing this deadly airbag defect. These are the following models that every car owner should carefully investigate:
- 2001-2002 Honda Civil
- 2001-2002 Honda Accord
- 2002-2003 Acura TL
- 2002 Honda CRV
- 2002 Honda Odyssey
- 2003 Acura CL
- 2003 Honda Pilot
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has kept track of the overhaul progress of the highly imperiled automaker Honda. As of recent tally, Honda has already achieved approximately 58.57% of the total repairs, accounting for 5,539,915 fixed driver seat airbags and 4,846,060 fixed passenger seat airbags. Despite their improvement, the government is yet to clear the aforementioned Honda models from getting into the garage of the average American Joe. It is safe to say that any of these models are strictly marked for mandatory airbag replacement.