Is my friend's Chevy Malibu 2014 Totaled?

Hello recently my a friend’s car was in an accident and we have no idea if it is totaled. This is the only picture I have because I was not there, I just want some opinions and thoughts.

The only opinion that matters is the insurance company.

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@VolvoV70 I agree; Insurance firms have their own formula, and some will specify used parts such as fenders if it is a borderline case. Insurance companies cannot skimp on safety, so they more readily write off a vehicle that a handy owner may want to fix himself.

It’s Pretty Tough To Judge From The Picture. It Looks Repairable Rather Than A Total Loss, But…

That Malibu has quite a bit of value left in it when it’s repaired. Air Bags are fairly expensive to replace and besides the obvious door and pillar damage there could be considerable cost repairing front suspension, steering, possible inner fender/frame rail components. The strut is probably gone and the wheel. Sometimes this damage can “sway” the front-end body metal and call for using a frame machine to put it right.

Insurance companies look at possible “open” items or hidden damage to things like transmissions that have axles shoved into them, etcetera. The car has to be valuable enough that after the body is fixed there’s the flexibility to repair some hidden damage without exceeding what the car’s value allows.

Besides, even a totaled 14 Malibu has quite a bit of value and that will be considered by insurance in the event that it’s close to the total/repair line.

As others have said, a thorough professional estimate and consideration by an adjuster is needed.


Besides what was mentioned, might even have a bent cradle, especially if that cradle is aluminum

I wouldn’t be surprised it it’s at least $6000 in damage, including parts and labor

But no, I don’t think the car is totaled

If the passenger wheel is straight and the drivers wheel is not,

i would be happy to total the car.

Besides what was mentioned, the cradle might be damaged, especially if it’s aluminum

I saw that various airbags have deployed. That means the airbags, plus several interior trim panels, will have to be replaced

I wouldn’t be surprised if the cost is close to $10000. Airbags are really expensive, and labor is also really expensive

A car can be declared total loss, even if cost to repair is less than the car’s value. If it exceeds a certain percentage, the adjuster can use his own judgment, and might go either way. Sometimes, it’s smarter and easier to declare total loss, versus trying to "save’ the car, and run into problems later on, because he didn’t allow for the various little things to always seem to happen

If the car was 5 years old it would be totalled. The repair will be significantly less than the car’s value.

What does the owner want?

There are several ways of looking at whether a car is declared a total. Offhand, the car does not look that bad to me as the fender and door are bolt-ons. The suspension question is up in the air.

It will vary by state, but here in OK if the repair costs exceed roughly 60% of the car’s value it may be declared a total. This would mean actual car value; not some unrealistic KBB value, etc.

The body panels I would not worry about but the suspension and strut tower on the driver’s side should be inspected closely.

l f door
pull/ repair hinge post
blend l r door
other small items

Based on the photo I would be confident it is repairable.
If your buddy is the claimant the insurance company will use used LKQ (used GM) part, new aftermarket (brand new but not made by GM) or new OEM parts.

If your buddy is the insured the same will be used. But this can change depending on the insurance company, if he/she bought oem parts policy, year and/or miles on vehicle.

Post back the estimate.

That looks major to me, I wouldn’t be surprised if they totaled it.

I’d say that since the side airbags are blown, it is almost sure to be totaled by any insurance company. I’ve never seen an insurance co suggest the use of salvage yard airbags. Too much liability for them if they do. NEW ones are EXPENSIVE. That said, the damage to the fender and door is easily fixable. Good matching pieces should even be available from a salvage yard. Did the windshield break? That would indicate heavy damage to the door pillar. Even if the windshield is good, the “A” pillar may still need a trip to the frame shop for everything to line up correctly and the door close.

As @meaneyedcatz said, please let us know what the insurance company says.

Looks like the entire suspension is pushed in, wheel is at an odd angle. Big $$

@"MG McAnick"
The windshield did not break nor crack and will let you know what insurance says.

@db4690 @texases
The mechanic looking at it says there may be close to 12,000 dollars in repair the airbags being about 6,000 dollars alone.

The owner says she may just want the insurance to total it because if they repair a lot of damaged part and pieces at might end up as a “barely working piece of crap”

Does your friend not have the insurance company involved in this ? If this thing has a loan against it let the insurance and the finance company know or your friend will have all kinds of problems. The more you try to do in this case could really ruin a friendship.

Is your friend the one who was at fault in the accident, or is the other person’s insurance paying for it? If the latter, they often pay out better because they want you happy and in a non-suing mood. So how’s your neck and back?

If this is a claim against another driver’s insurance, make sure your friend goes through her insurance company. She pays them for this service and should take advantage of it. They know the business well and she doesn’t. If she is handling it through her insurer already, the good for her.