My Saab Accident

Here’s what my Saab looked like after its little run-in with another vehicle. Even with all this damage, I walked away with no injuries whatsoever. There was no frame damage, either. The damage was confined to the bumper, body shell, radiators, and easily replaceable front suspension components (tie rods, etc.). The car has been repaired to good-as-new condition, with no change in handling or performance.

One interesting note: the passenger side airbag on the Saab 95 deploys by ripping a hole in the dashboard. According to Internet sources, Saab made this choice deliberately. Other cars use a small hatch that flips open to permit the airbag to deploy. Saab determined that these hatches were dangerous: If they flip up, they tend to hit the windshield, causing it to shatter even in minor accidents. If they flip down, they tend to hit the passenger with considerable force. While ripping the dashboard is safer, it’s also a good reason to make sure you’ve got insurance coverage: it was the single most expensive repair to the car. The dashboard cover, which runs across the entire top of the dash and around the woodgrain driver’s side panel, costs US $3,500, not including 6½ hours of technician time for the replacement… and not including the actual passenger airbag assembly.

A Saab is not cheap to repair after an accident. However, it’s far easier to repair a car back to factory condition, even at great expense, than it is to repair a human body back to its prime. Again, I sustained no injury. That’s worth a lot of money.

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