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We hit a @#%* deer last night in Hal. It was a big one, 4 point buck. It was one of those "video game" hits. Dark night, deer came from left out of bushes in full tilt boogie, 10' in front of Hal. I hit the brakes, but we hit him hard, going probably 58 mph. Hood's wasted, bumper cover, grille, one headlight, radiator, front clip may be bent. The car continued to run, but as the coolant depleted I got a check engine light and propulsion power reduced to only about 2kw, and came in pulses. No DIC messages, only the check engine light. No airbags.

All systems remained operational, and he still starts and runs in reduced power mode. I'm really bummed, this was the best car I've ever had. With 90k miles I fear he may be totalled, but maybe not. I can't even fathom going back to an ICE. And a new FREE L2 charging station was just installed in Colville! I might need grief counselling!:(
 

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We hit a @#%* deer last night in Hal. It was a big one, 4 point buck. It was one of those "video game" hits. Dark night, deer came from left out of bushes in full tilt boogie, 10' in front of Hal. I hit the brakes, but we hit him hard, going probably 58 mph. Hood's wasted, bumper cover, grille, one headlight, radiator, front clip may be bent. The car continued to run, but as the coolant depleted I got a check engine light and propulsion power reduced to only about 2kw, and came in pulses. No DIC messages, only the check engine light. No airbags.

All systems remained operational, and he still starts and runs in reduced power mode. I'm really bummed, this was the best car I've ever had. With 90k miles I fear he may be totalled, but maybe not. I can't even fathom going back to an ICE. And a new FREE L2 charging station was just installed in Colville! I might need grief counselling!:(
I see a 2019 in your future
 

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We hit a @#%* deer last night in Hal. It was a big one, 4 point buck. It was one of those "video game" hits. Dark night, deer came from left out of bushes in full tilt boogie, 10' in front of Hal. I hit the brakes, but we hit him hard, going probably 58 mph. Hood's wasted, bumper cover, grille, one headlight, radiator, front clip may be bent. The car continued to run, but as the coolant depleted I got a check engine light and propulsion power reduced to only about 2kw, and came in pulses. No DIC messages, only the check engine light. No airbags.

All systems remained operational, and he still starts and runs in reduced power mode. I'm really bummed, this was the best car I've ever had. With 90k miles I fear he may be totalled, but maybe not. I can't even fathom going back to an ICE. And a new FREE L2 charging station was just installed in Colville! I might need grief counselling!:(
Or another Volt or Bolt. :)
 

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I don't get it....how could the airbags not engage in a hit like that?

Joe
Parameters for an airbag deployment are pretty specific on modern cars and have a lot to do with g-force readings.
 

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We hit a @#%* deer last night in Hal. ... I'm really bummed, this was the best car I've ever had. With 90k miles I fear he may be totalled, but maybe not. I can't even fathom going back to an ICE. And a new FREE L2 charging station was just installed in Colville! I might need grief counselling!:(
My sympathies to you and Hal. Hope he is salvageable. But, if the worst happens, consider BJ's suggestion.... Hal Jr.? More range and faster charging might help heal the pain.
 

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I don't get it....how could the airbags not engage in a hit like that?

Joe
I think the airbag sensors are behind the bumper and require the bumper to crush to trigger them (not just the bumper cover, but the structural steel part). My guess is that the mass of the deer was mostly above the bumper.
 

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I hit a deer a few years back, ran out onto the road from a driveway. Fortunately was only going 30 mph and after slamming on the brakes maybe hit at 5 mph. It bounced of the front of car and ran off the road, jumped the fence then fell feet up in the air, flailing. Called 911 from my cell to bring the RCMP out to put it out of its misery. About 20 minutes later a lady officer drove up, took a look, started a report, gave me a file number for insurance company in case there was hidden damage (all we could see was a cracked plastic licence plate holder). Went over to the deer and it was gone. She said she thought she saw it run away when she drove up. Guess I just knocked the wind out of it.
 

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I think the airbag sensors are behind the bumper and require the bumper to crush to trigger them (not just the bumper cover, but the structural steel part). My guess is that the mass of the deer was mostly above the bumper.
The rate that the car is decelerating has a lot to do with it too

Thank heavens they DON'T deploy when they're not really needed because just an airbag deployment (which often breaks the windshield and destroys the entire dash) can total a car, even if it didn't hit anything of substance . . . . like a deer for instance. Hitting the biggest deer on the planet even at 80 mph is unlikely to kill any car occupants, assuming they maintain control of the car . . . . and if they can't, well that's what the airbags are there for

Don
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Jeez, If the airbags would've deployed at 60 mph we might be dead! We barely felt the impact and Hal continued straight ahead.
Looks like he's toast. Lot of unseen collateral damage. Hood, radiator, rad support, grill, headlight, bumper cover, fenders, water pumps, repair inverter HV cables and reprogram, and more. Estimate was at $10350 and likely to go higher. Downside of Volt is repair costs. Lots of nice 2015 lease returns out there to maybe ease the pain. But Hal was my first Volt, and the best car I've ever had. Search is on for Hal II.
 

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Last year, we had almost identical damage to our one month old after hitting a deer at 80 mph in northern Wyoming.

I will say that I’m glad we switched to the ICE at the beginning of our trip because we were still able to reach our destination 60 or 70 miles away by alternating between the ICE (until the engine temp got a little too warm) and battery (while the engine cooled down).

I really love this car. It’s truly amazing. Sorry for your loss and good luck in your search.
 
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