Things to Know About A Vehicle That's Been In An Accident - Toyota Service Information To Know in Salem, OR

April 12, 2019

The moments after an automotive accident can be frightening, confusing, and definitely frustrating. Especially when you're not at fault. Naturally, the top priority is the well-being of all persons involved. Since our Toyota dealership service center is much better at fixing cars than people, we want to tell you some important things we think you should know about a vehicle that's been in an accident. Below, we discuss six things to consider about a car that's been wrecked.

If you have any questions, please contact us at Capitol Toyota. We're a proud part of the Capitol Auto Group that's been serving the greater Salem, OR area for over 80 years with a unique customer-driven experience. We call it Your Way on the Parkway, and we look forward to showing you the difference at 783 Auto Group Avenue NE, Salem, OR 97301.

Learn the downside of vehicles with accident damage. 

6. How Do You Know if Your Car is Totaled?

A vehicle that has been totaled is one with enough damage that it would cost more to repair than the vehicle is worth without the damage. Typically, vehicles that have been totaled are taken by the insurance company and sold for scrap. However, some of these vehicles remain on the road, and may even come up for sale with a salvage title. We strongly recommend that you avoid purchasing a car or other vehicle with a salvage title because they may be unsafe, difficult to ensure, and not reliable.

5. What Will Insurance Pay When a Vehicle is Damaged?

For less severe accidents, damaged vehicles can typically be restored to their condition before the crash. If the vehicle is covered with the proper insurance, the repairs will be paid for (usually less a deductible) along with a rental vehicle while repairs are made. However, if the vehicle is totaled, it will then be taken by the insurance company. In many cases, you can buy back the totaled vehicle from the insurance company if you'd like to salvage parts or try to get it roadworthy again.

Schedule a complete vehicle inspection at Capitol Toyota of Salem before buying any used car to protect yourself! 

4. What if You Owe More Than a Car is Worth When It's Totaled?

If your car is totaled, the insurance company will pay the cash value of the car just before the crash occurred. Often, this is enough to replace the wrecked car with a similar vehicle. But what if you still owe money on the vehicle? Unfortunately, insurance companies aren't in the business of paying more than something is worth, and that means you're still responsible for whatever is owed on the vehicle beyond its value at the time of the accident.

3. Is it a Good Idea To Purchase a Vehicle That's been Wrecked or Totaled?

Minor, and even moderate, damage from an auto accident can typically be repaired to make a vehicle as good as it was before the collision. So, just because a vehicle has been in an accident doesn't mean it won't last, function, and be just as safe as a car that hasn't been wrecked. However, it's important that a wrecked vehicle be fixed by an authorized body shop that follows manufacturer specifications for the repairs.

If a car wasn't repaired properly or if it's totaled, we recommend steering clear. Even in the case of a relatively minor fender-bender, there are a variety of components designed to absorb an impact that only work once. If they're not all replaced properly, the safety of the vehicle is compromised. What's more, you're likely to have continued problems with a totaled or improperly repaired vehicle.

Contact our service department professionals for more information and answers to your car accident questions. 

2. Who Should You Trust to Fix a Wrecked Car?

Virtually every auto maker authorizes body shops to perform repairs on wrecked cars from their respective brands. In fact, the Capitol Auto Group also has authorized body shops that can work with your insurance company and restore non-totaled vehicles to their pre-accident condition. If your vehicle is involved in an accident, simply have the tow truck bring it to our authorized body shop, and we'll take care of the rest. Remember, it's important to know where you want your damaged vehicle taken. Without this instruction, a tow company may take it to their yard or a non-authorized body shop. That could cause further issues and expense for you down the road.

1. Is a Wrecked Vehicle Still Safe?

Pending proper repair, the answer to this is typically no. We mentioned some of the safety features that can be compromised by an accident in #3, but this is just the beginning. Important things like airbags and crumple zones are one-time use features and won't perform safely if the vehicle is hit a second time. If you were rear-ended and don't get the impact-absorbing components properly replaced, you're at much greater risk of injury if the vehicle is again hit from behind. With so many distracted drivers on the road today, driving a wrecked car isn't something you should gamble with.

Schedule service online at Capitol Toyota of Salem
Order parts online from Capitol Toyota of Salem


Capitol Toyota

783 Auto Group Avenue Ne
Directions Salem, OR 97301

  • Sales: 503-399-1011
  • Service: 503-399-1011
  • Parts: 503-399-1011