How much does airbag replacement cost?

Airbag replacement costs are usually more than $1,000. With more modern cars, you can expect a cost closer to $2,500 depending on the number of airbags deployed. Auto insurance will cover airbag replacement but your vehicle may be considered a total loss if the cost of repairs is greater than the actual value of your vehicle.

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Sara Routhier, Managing Editor and Outreach Director, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming world o...

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Cynthia Lanctot is an insurance professional with ten years of industry experience. Cynthia is licensed in several states, and holds an associate in claims law, as well as a bachelor’s degree in English. Cynthia’s experience includes the New England and Northeast states. She currently works as a liability claims professional and an occasional online contributor.

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Reviewed by Cynthia Lanctot
Licensed Agent Cynthia Lanctot

UPDATED: Jan 19, 2022

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A Concise Overview

  • The cost of airbag replacement depends on the type of car you drive and the number of airbags deployed in an accident
  • Airbag replacement averages upwards of $1,000 in most cases, but replacing all the airbags in a modern car can cost over $2,500
  • All major auto insurance companies will cover airbag replacement (or will replace your totaled vehicle) assuming that you have comprehensive and/or collision insurance

Replacing airbags after a collision can be expensive. While the exact cost depends on the make and model of your vehicle and the number of airbags deployed, airbag replacement is never inexpensive, costing upwards of $1,000 in most cases.

Fortunately, collision insurance generally covers the cost of replacing deployed airbags whether by paying for repairs — minus your deductible — or giving you cash equivalent to the value of your totaled vehicle.

Many drivers have concerns about airbag replacement aside from the cost. Following an accident, drivers commonly wonder where they should go to have their airbags replaced and want to know how to ensure that they’re getting the most out of their auto insurance coverage when filing a claim for the deployed airbags.

We’re here to answer some common questions about airbag replacement, so you’ll know where to go and what questions to ask if you’re ever involved in a collision where airbags deploy. We’ll tell you how much airbag replacement costs and a lot more.

After you’ve read this article, enter your ZIP code in our free online tool to compare auto insurance quotes and find affordable coverage that protects you and your vehicle.

How much does an average airbag replacement cost?

The airbag replacement cost for any car involved in a collision will vary based on the make and model of the vehicle as well as which airbags — and possibly other related safety features — are deployed. The airbag replacement cost for a new Tesla, for example, will likely be more higher than the cost of an older Ford airbag replacement. That said, drivers can expect to pay upwards of $1,000 in most cases — and often even more than that.

Review the table below for an idea of how much replacing a car’s airbags can cost.

PartAverage Cost
Driver's side bag$375
Passenger's side bag$550
Knee airbag$550
Side curtain airbag$550
Airbag control module reset $100
Airbag control module replacement (if reset is not possible)$800
Seatbelt pretensioner$100
Cost for all of the parts listed above$2225 - $2925
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As you can see, side curtain airbag replacement costs tend to be about the same as front airbag replacement costs.

Honda Civic airbag replacement comes in a little below average at around $400-$1,000, and this is roughly on par with the cost of a Nissan airbag replacement. Hyundai airbag replacement will run you in the neighborhood of $1,000-$1,500.

Does auto insurance cover airbag replacement?

Yes, auto insurance covers airbag replacement if airbags are deployed as the result of a collision or other event. After a collision, your airbag replacement — or the cost of replacing your totaled car — will be covered by either the other driver’s liability insurance or your own collision insurance depending on who’s at fault.

In the event that you’re found to be at fault for a collision or no one is found to be at fault, the other driver’s liability coverage will not cover your airbag replacement. This is one reason why you need to have full coverage auto insurance to ensure that your airbag replacement is covered. Since full coverage auto insurance includes comprehensive insurance as well, it will also help pay for replacements if your airbags deploy for some reason other than a collision, such as a falling object hitting your car.

What auto insurance companies cover airbag replacement?

All major auto insurance companies in the United States will cover airbag replacement as long as you have collision coverage (if the airbags deploy as a result of colliding with another vehicle or someone’s property) or comprehensive coverage (if the airbags deploy as the result of an event other than a collision). Purchasing full coverage auto insurance — which means both collision and comprehensive coverage — is the best way to ensure that airbag replacement is covered for your vehicle.

For an idea of the coverage options available to you, the top auto insurance companies in the United States by market share are listed below:

Where can you have airbags replaced?

Airbag replacement should be performed by a certified mechanic at either an auto repair facility or dealership. Provided that your auto insurance company doesn’t consider your car a total loss after an accident, you should be able to take your car to any approved mechanic for repairs. If possible, compare different repair shops and dealerships to find the best price for airbag replacement.

Note that you should never attempt to replace your own airbags unless you’re a trained professional. Not only is doing so a complex process, but it can also lead to bodily harm if the airbags deploy accidentally while you’re attempting the repairs.

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Is your car considered totaled if the airbags deploy?

Whether or not your car is considered totaled after airbags deploy depends on the number of airbags deployed, the cost of each airbag, and the actual value of your car before its airbags deployed. In general, insurance companies will conclude that a vehicle is a total loss if the cost of repairing it is greater than the actual value of the vehicle.

For example, if the cost to replace your vehicle’s airbags is $3,500 but the actual value of your car is only $3,000, your insurance company may decide to give you a $3,000 cash payment for your “totaled” vehicle even if repairs are technically possible.

Some states have laws that clarify the minimum amount of damage required for a vehicle to be deemed a total loss. In Florida, for instance, damage to a vehicle needs to be greater than 80% of its market value in order for insurance companies to choose to pay for a replacement instead of repairs.

How do you file a claim for airbag replacement?

Filing a claim for airbag replacement is like any other claim. What’s most important is to keep a careful record of everything related to the accident — take photos if it’s safe to do so — and contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Many insurance companies now make it easy to contact them about claims over the phone, online, or on their mobile apps.

The Insurance Information Institute provides a few helpful tips for making the claims process easier for drivers:

  • Call your insurance professional as soon as possible
  • If your insurance company offers a mobile app, you can use it to upload photos of the accident and schedule an appraisal
  • Ask an insurance agent if you need to fill out a “proof of claim” or any other forms
  • Find out if your policy provides you with access to a rental car while you’re damaged car is being repaired/replaced
  • Keep thorough records of everything related to your claim, so that you’re prepared to answer any questions your insurance company may pose

What to Remember About Airbag Replacement

  • The cost of airbag replacement can vary considerably depending on the make and model of your vehicle, its safety features, and the number of airbags deployed in an accident.
  • Expect airbag replacement to cost over $1,000 in nearly all cases. Auto insurance will cover this cost (minus your deductible) as long as you have collision and/or comprehensive coverage.
  • If you’re involved in an accident where airbags deploy, contact your insurance company as soon as possible to begin the claim process. Your car may be repaired or considered totaled and replaced.

To help you begin your search for the best auto insurance companies that cover airbag replacement, try our free online quote tool to find affordable coverage options in your area.

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