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Wrecked Pickup & Air Bag?

My son was in an accident in his 2011 GMC pickup & the drivers airbag deployed . It was a one vehicle accident , he wasn’t hurt & he’s considering fixing it himself instead of turning it in on his insurance . Can the deployed airbag be removed & the vehicle be driven without that causing a drive-ability problem ? Thanks In Advance !

It can by a qualified technician. But it isn’t a DIY at-home job.
Airbags can deploy during the process and seriously injure whoever’s trying to do the work.

@sloepoke - Even I know that is a really poor idea. This is why you have insurance. Selling or trading in the car in the future without a functional air bag is just asking for a lawsuit.

This sounds like a terrible idea to me. The rest of the system might now be disabled. If a passenger is injured in a future crash because of that, he’ll probably be sued for a large amount of money.

This car should have many years of life left (assuming the crash damage isn’t too bad). Fix it properly.

Just imagine the scenario if your Son fixed the truck, disabled the airbag, and then was in ANOTHER accident and was seriously injured. Be the insurance company for a minute now and tell me what you would do with his claim for medical benefits if he was seriously injured. I vote with the majority here and advise not to do it. Rocketman

Terrible idea. Accidents with air bags deploying happens even with qualified mechanics. Talk your son out of this idea.

Don’t fiddle with airbags, you could kill yourself!

I agree that not replacing the deployed airbag would be a terrible idea. I have no idea how to remove an airbag but I would be confident that there would be very little chance of a deployed airbag accidentally deploying.

It is possible that only one stage of the drivers airbag deployed but unlikely. The standard procedure at body shops is to cut the “bag” material away with a scissors or knife so that the vehicle can be moved around the lot without the steering wheel being obstructed. This is not the recommended procedure for use on roads and highways.

Add me to the list of people that think this is Penny wise/Pound foolish. And I am cheap, but have it fixed, either out of pocket or by the insurance company. We all learn.

My thoughts on the OP’s approach to this situation are…
You can’t afford to save money in this way.

Pay for a professional to replace that airbag, a.s.a.p.

Bad idea.

  1. it will take special tools that he will use one time. not cost effective.
  2. if he wants the SRS lamp on the instrument panel tuned off he will need to take it to a dealer
  3. its more than a bag. sensors, modules, seat belts, clock spring might require changing.
  4. in the future at trade in time (if the SRS lamp is illuminated) he will get reamed in value if it is even accepted for a trade. I know of sales dept turning down trade ins for that reason.

It appears I should have given more detail . What he’s considering is replacing the bumper & grill , radiator & all is OK , cutting off the deployed airbag & then driving the vehicle to a shop to get the airbag replaced . Didn’t know if deployed airbag would prohibit vehicle from being driven at all .

It shouldn’t. But only to the shop.
Glad to hear he isn’t going to try to replace it himself.
Sincere best.

If this vehicle has collision insurance just pay the deductible and get everything repaired correctly. If it has lien on it the lending institution might cause problems if they find out about the self repair. Sloepoke as a former business owner you should know the risks of cutting corners.

It’s really not my decision to make , he’s a man grown . He asked me if I knew if the deployed airbag would immobilize the vehicle . Due to all the electronics in more modern vehicles I didn’t know so I asked here instead of doing a bunch of googling .
He has reasonably priced insurance premiums for a young man his age & a really good job so he thinks he would rather pay out of pocket than turn it in possibly increasing his premiums .

@Sloepoke -You really need to convince your son that his plan is foolish. The air bag replacement itself could be 1000.00 to 1500.00-The parts he will need might be more than his deductible. If he has collision ins his deductible is most likely 500.00. The rate increase will only be temporary provided he does not have any more claims. Also the replacement of the airbag will most likely be reported and if the insurance discovers this the consequences will not be good.

Repair after drivers side airbag deployment will cost about $3,000, the parts cost about $2,000.

Drivers airbag $750
Clock spring $150
Airbag control module $460

Plus the left seat belt pretensioner, sensors and any items found to be damaged.

Yes the vehicle can be driven. A blown bag does not shut down a car.

I have had cars driven into my shops with the bag duct tapped to the wheel or even cut off with knifes. People stated that they drove like that for months

To answer the question, the deployed air bag in the steering wheel can be removed and the vehicle can still be operated. The SRS system just won’t function in the event of another frontal collision.

But! If the air bag deployed, it means the front impact sensors must be replaced and the SRS module be reprogrammed.