In 2005 I had a 6-month-old Honda Pilot. That vehicle was parked overnight in a driveway next to a large RV, and the RV caught fire.
The RV burned to a crisp, leaving nothing but a blackened frame and a smoking pile of debris. The Pilot, which was parked not 12 inches from the RV, didn’t catch fire, but did suffer massive damage from the heat. The windows burst, leather melted, paint bubbled, plastic exterior and interior trim melted, tires burst, and wheels warped.
The driver’s side of that car was destroyed. The insurance company deemed the damage repairable, and three months and $12,000 later, I got my car back, but it never felt “good as new.”
Contrast that story with this one:
I had the misfortune of being on an extremely busy interstate about a month ago when a vehicle in front of me went over a large rock or chuck of something VERY hard. This interstate is eight lanes wide where I was at and vehicles were all around me doing 70+/- mph, so I had no where to go and I couldn’t stop without causing accidents for others. I tried to straddle it, but it hit a number of places under the car, but luckily it missed anything with fluids. One big problem right now is the dealer has shown me pictures of a rear structural member that has a crack. They are calling it a rear transmission tunnel and indicating it is a non-serviceable part, not offered by Chevrolet. $7,600 damages without buying this part and the associated labor. Anyone have any similar experience? I may end up with a totaled car that still looks perfect.
The crack happened on the frame and is not repairable without compromising the safety of the vehicle. It’s not feasible to replace the frame, and welding the crack wouldn’t provide the necessary structural integrity. After some back-and-forth between Chevrolet and the driver’s insurance company, the car was totaled and will be sold at auction as a salvage.
I think Chevy made the right move by refusing to repair this ‘Vette, and I hope the owner already has a replacement. It’s just crazy that one car melted by fire can saved, while a single crack can be the demise of another.
Have you ever had a car that got totaled, or should have been?
Shopping for a new vehicle?
Bring along CarGurus’ mobile app to help check prices, find good deals, and research cars on your smartphone.