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Old 11-04-2012, 07:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy 2011 MDX Accident - Is it totaled?

Hello All,

My wife got into an accident but she is OK. All the lights were out, roads were blocked due to power outage from sandy, she was distracted, went on the curb and brushed a pole . None of the air bags were engaged, but the tire is all mangled up, fuel was leaking, axle seems to be broken and the right side doors are not closing completely. It seems like the car's structure has been pushed inside from the right side. Car is only 1 year old, 20K miles. Please look at the pics and tell me if you think it's totaled. Insurance agents are too busy with Sandy's flood victims, they are not giving us a timeline on when they can look into our car. Heart broken and been loosing sleep over this for the past 3 nights..

Thank You!
AM
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Old 11-04-2012, 08:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Probably repairable. Rule of thumb, to total a car the damage needs to exceed 75% the value of the car.

Any good shop has the equipment to straighten the unibody and change the rails if necessary. Axels are "bolt on" parts, and are no big deal.

Of course a closer inspection might reveal more damage than your pictures.

Don't lose sleep over a car. It's just a bucket of bolts.
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Old 11-04-2012, 08:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Glad to hear your wife is ok. You can always get another mdx.


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Old 11-04-2012, 09:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Yup. Definitely no reason to be heartbroken. The car can be repaired or replaced. Just follow the instructions of your insurance company regarding whether they need to look at it, or whether you should just take it to a local body shop to get an estimate. (Most body shops give free estimates and work closely with the major insurance companies to settle claims.)
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Given the market value of that new of an MDX, it probably won't cost enough to be totaled. However, I'm weary that it will ever drive the same.
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Given the market value of that new of an MDX, it probably won't cost enough to be totaled. However, I'm weary that it will ever drive the same.
With the equipment available today for measuring and straightening, just about any car can be put back to factory specs. Most complaints about car repairs come from either not going to a reputable shop, or insisting that the shop "save your deductible". No shop gives you $500 or $1000 off. They save that money in places you can't see, those things that keep the car from performing properly. So, pay what you owe.

Most insurance companies have programs where if you bring a car to one of the shops they specify, the insurance company will guarantee the repairs as long as you own the car. This is better than a guarantee from the shop, because it is good anywhere the insurance company does business. If you move, you still have the guarantee. Ask your agent or claim rep if you want to go that route. It usually goes quicker because the shop doesn't have to wait for an adjuster.
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Old 11-04-2012, 10:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
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In most cases insurance companies declare a total loss when the cost required to repair the car to be fully operable and safe are greater than the market value of the car. I would agree with the comments above that it's just a car and the most important thing is that your wife is safe. I was also impacted by hurricane Sandy and had a few close calls as well (driving through flooded areas in jersey and through Manhattan without traffic lights, dodging debris, etc) so I understand what your wife was going through.
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Old 11-04-2012, 10:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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In most cases insurance companies declare a total loss when the cost required to repair the car to be fully operable and safe are greater than the market value of the car.
Not even that much. The post above by Bill_de is accurate; they declare a total loss when the cost required to repair the car is somewhere around 75 percent of the market value of the car.
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Old 11-05-2012, 06:57 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Only your insurance company can answer that question.

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Old 11-05-2012, 08:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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With the equipment available today for measuring and straightening, just about any car can be put back to factory specs. Most complaints about car repairs come from either not going to a reputable shop, or insisting that the shop "save your deductible". No shop gives you $500 or $1000 off. They save that money in places you can't see, those things that keep the car from performing properly. So, pay what you owe.

Most insurance companies have programs where if you bring a car to one of the shops they specify, the insurance company will guarantee the repairs as long as you own the car. This is better than a guarantee from the shop, because it is good anywhere the insurance company does business. If you move, you still have the guarantee. Ask your agent or claim rep if you want to go that route. It usually goes quicker because the shop doesn't have to wait for an adjuster.
I used to have a 1995 Honda Prelude Si that I dodged a car but went right into a curb. The bottom sub-frame was slightly bent just enough to mess with the alignment ever so slightly. The car was repaired and looked like it used to look, but there was always that nagging feeling that it didn't drive the same. Then again that was back in like 1997 or so. So perhaps your right about today's repair technology which is more advanced.

I'm hoping though the OP on this thread gets his car fixed 100% and of course his wife's health is in good condition.
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:47 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Folks,

Thank you for your comments and your well wishes!

What are my options after the car is "fixed"? If it drives well then I plan on selling it after the warranty is over. If not then what should I do? How much monetary impact will this cause on car's value.
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:07 PM   #12 (permalink)
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That does not look like enough damage to total the car. It may drive fine when repaired, but the unibody has been compromised and may not perform as well in a subsequent accident - your choice obviously on how to proceed. You will take a hit on trade in because the carfax will reflect the accident.

If the damage is greater than what is obvious and approaches the 75-90% of market value, you can probably lobby the insurance company to total it, and if they are a reputable company, they will probably comply. You will get way more in an insurance settlement than you will in a trade.
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:28 AM   #13 (permalink)
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My guess is that the vehicle is totaled looking at that damage. The unibody HAS been compromised, and based on the photos and your description of doors not operating correctly, it's extremely likely that the vehicle's crash-impact absorption system (what Acura markets as the ACE body structure) has borne the brunt of this crash. That's great, because it kept your wife safe, but it's very expensive to restore this once it's done it's job.

Thankfully the car did its job, and sacrificed itself to keep your wife safe. This is the best thing that could possibly happen.
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Old 11-10-2012, 12:04 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Red face Observations

Based on your pics, looks like a lot of damage. But before considering a total loss, first you need to take a look to the chassis at the front end and in the middle session to explore for underneath damages. Also, you need to check for mechanical damages in the transmission, although is on the other side of the car. Since air bags are not involved and taking into consideration all the damage, I believe you will need to wait for the insurance guy. Last year I lost the engine on my 2011 MDX due to heavy rain. Water went inside the engine and it was shot down. After many considerations, since the car had low miles on it, insurance decided to replace the engine with a new one from the factory. In total expenses I had an invoice of $12,300, paid by the insurance.
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:41 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Folks,

Thank you for your comments and your well wishes!

What are my options after the car is "fixed"? If it drives well then I plan on selling it after the warranty is over. If not then what should I do? How much monetary impact will this cause on car's value.
If the car is repaired, and you don't plan on keeping the car for several years, you should consider selling or trading before the accident shows up on Carfax.
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