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My 2004 VW New Beetle, Convertible, was involved in an accident yesterday and I think it was pretty bad. Although the car is driveable now, it isnt advised to because of the driver side, seat inner airbag blew out and the seat belt lost its tension. So technically they are both not working right now. And the left rear wheel suspension seems to be busted. So I would need these 3 items to be fixed ASAP to get the vehicle back on the road (and start saving for the horrendous body/cosmetic damages). And as luck would have it, I dont have the collision coverage, so I would have to bear it all from my pocket. (Yes, I got the citation). So if any of you who knows how to deal with this kind of situation, please please help me with any kind of info on the prices, resources, best practices.

1. Driver seat inner airbag deployed
2. Driver seat belt lost tension and wont retract
3. Left rear wheel suspension busted.

Thanks
 

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5/23/10 <3
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Airbag stuff isn't cheap to replace and get all back to how it should be. That often is enough to total a car.

And if your rear suspension is busted, I'd suspect frame damage, which is a hassle as well. If the frame is tweaked, you're going to run into bigger problems. Its hard to get that all straightened back up properly.

Good luck on this. And glad you're ok!
 

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I would look into a used seat and seat belt, if possible. Additionally it sounds like you may need to replace your rear beam which usually gets bent when hit in the rear. I would say take it somewhere and get an estimate with a parts breakdown, then see what you can find used.


Bme
 

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repair fyi

It came out on the knews yesterday that it was not adviceable to put in used airbags or aftermarket airbags becuase there were a lot of conterfeit products out there that do not deploy properly or explode in the drivers face causing even more damage. For airbags you are stuck with going to the dealer, plus you have hard proof that it was done by the dealer if ever there is a liability issue. just an fyi
There are company's out there that do stretch the frame back into place, but too expensive, they usually only do that to wrecked luxery cars, high dollar cars. Sorry to say you might have a total loss here. Sell it for parts
 

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It came out on the knews yesterday that it was not adviceable to put in used airbags or aftermarket airbags becuase there were a lot of conterfeit products out there that do not deploy properly or explode in the drivers face causing even more damage. For airbags you are stuck with going to the dealer, plus you have hard proof that it was done by the dealer if ever there is a liability issue. just an fyi
There are company's out there that do stretch the frame back into place, but too expensive, they usually only do that to wrecked luxery cars, high dollar cars. Sorry to say you might have a total loss here. Sell it for parts
If you can afford new, definitely agree with this statement!!! The computer system SHOULD throw a fault if there is a problem with the replacement. I also forgot to mention you will need NEW crash sensor for the side airbag. It can be repaired, but it is going to be $$$$$$$$$, unless you can do the work yourself, then it is just $$$$$.


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So not speaking of the body damage ( need pictures to diagnose) you will need at a minmum new drivers seat with the airbag,new collision sensor for that side. (some of the newer sensors are not compatble with the old controllers.)

Some of the seats have a diffferent style airbag connector on them. New drivers side seat belt as the pre-tensioner has gone off. And most likley a rear subframe with the suspension parts.

If you can get used parts cheaply and can do the work yourself it may be rebuildable, but it depends on the body damage.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
:(

This is terrible. I cannot do anything by myself, I am a complete handicap when it comes to cars. When I called few body shops for guesstimates, I got quite varied responses. One shop, with very good reviews on Yelp, said he could do the rear suspension for a max of $600, in 4 hours. This was on a phone call and am guessing tomorrow when he takes a look at it, and if there is any frame damage too, it would end up being more. But he doesnt work on the airbag, seat belt, seat or the body.

Another guy said that I am looking at nearly $2000 for the airbag damage. If I buy a new seat, does it come with a built in working airbag by default, or are they all separate parts and hence will cost me $$$$?

The seat belt when I tried today, would retract and work perfect once, and then again would pull out and hang there. So I dont know how much of that damage that pretensioner had/sustained.

Meanwhile, I found this, Airbag $49 Module Reset and Replacement : ABS Repair: Climate Control, Seat Belt, Car Clock, Ford Overhead Console Repair : GM Cluster, Dashboard and Instrument Cluster Repair : Myairbags.com. These guys apparently reset the airbag module to factory settings and also repair the seat belts and ship them back all for $49+$69. But that involves self-installation of them both which I couldnt. So can I have the body shop guy pull those out for me, ship them to the online store, get the reset/repaired ones shipped back and get them installed back in? And stitch the airbag back into the seat? How crazy does that sound?

Please advise!
 

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I would call them and make sure they can do volkswagen modules.

You will still need the crash sensor. I would probably try to find a complete used seat as opposed to repairing one. You basically had an explosion take place in your seat and I would imagine it is pretty hard on the frame. If you were in another accident there is no telling what could happen if the seat frame was weakened and that is not worth the chance of being seriously injured IMO.


Bme
 

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Discussion Starter #11
...

Ok guys, I gave it to a body shop, and I committed to pay $1800 for the replacement of the hind axle beam, replacing the seat with a used one with a working airbag, and getting the modules, sensors reset, so the seatbelt etc would work again. Like I said, the seat belt doesnt seem to be totally damaged, so he said he would open up the side panel and see how much the sensor got effected. That's that, and I shall drive more carefully from now on! FML
 

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Ok guys, I gave it to a body shop, and I committed to pay $1800 for the replacement of the hind axle beam, replacing the seat with a used one with a working airbag, and getting the modules, sensors reset, so the seatbelt etc would work again. Like I said, the seat belt doesnt seem to be totally damaged, so he said he would open up the side panel and see how much the sensor got effected. That's that, and I shall drive more carefully from now on! FML
This dies sound reasonable. One word of caution on the seat belts, Volkswagen used to have seat belts that had a charge in them. When you were in an accident, it would discharge and pull the seat belt tension. I am not sure if your model has this. If it does and it went off it needs to be replaced.

Hope you get back on the road again soon. Maybe you can post some pictures an people can give you an idea on the body damage. All the exterior pieces on the NB are daily easy to remove.


Bme
 
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