I accidentally backed into a 2007 Saturn Aura. The front of his hood had a small dent, I didn’t see any real damage to his bumper. After we exchanged insurance information, he called several times and said that his hood kept opening up while he was driving on the highway Could a mild hit like this (I was only going a few miles an hour when I backed into him, I was driving a Ford Econoline van) cause the hood to open up while driving?
Yes. What looks subtle to the eye can be bent up underneath including hood latch alignment. Hopefully you have insurance, if you do contact them. They will take care of the issue as you pay them for that and make them whole.
Yes, if the hood was knocked out of line or the hood latch damaged. With the cheap construction of some of these cars, either is possible. Federal standard for bumper impact is 2.5 mph. And your van is maybe 2-3 times as heavy, depending on the model van (E-150, E-250, E-350). Lots of damage can happen at low speeds.
But, why worry about it? Both insurance companies should be handling this. You don’t need to help him with it.
“Could a mild hit like this (I was only going a few miles an hour when I backed into him, I was driving a Ford Econoline van) cause the hood to open up while driving?”
Yes…The Saturn, after all, is made out of plastic…
Used to be plastic. The Aura’s the same chassis as the Malibu and the Pontiac G6, so most of it’s metal.
No…I do not believe the hood would fly open, unless the vehicle owner popped the hood, got past the safety and could not re-latch it. It would help if you posted pics. I have seen/inspected thousands of wrecks and the only time I have seen latches fail was with a vehicle that had violent damage. And even then most of the time the latch held which sometimes meant a lot of elbow grease on my part to get it open.
BUT something is amiss here. The claimant says the hood kept opening on the highway.
- Was the hood secure when you departed? Hoods do not fly open just because there was impact.
- After the first “opening” why did he not stop and secure it or call a truck?
- When hoods fly open they typically take out the windshield and damage the roof. Did he mention these?
- More than likely it was catching on the safety. Was the hood opened at the scene and if it was, was it secure when you left?
Just because you have a full size van does not mean automatic severe damage. I have seen semi trucks do only 1 hour of damage and then I have seen sub compacts do several thousands in damage. My point is just because your van is big does not automatically mean big damage.
I believe that he means that the hood is opening to the latch hook (aka “popping up”). A latch out of adjustment (from whatever cause) can allow this. The latch hook is a safety backup for the plunger type latch.