Are These Fire-Damaged 2021 Ford Bronco SUVs a Total Loss?

The 2021 Ford Bronco is already one of the most highly anticipated SUVs of the year. However, as buyers across the U.S. wait for their Broncos to arrive, two pre-production models met an early death during transport.

According to Bronco6G via CarBuzz, a fire broke out inside a transport truck, causing severe damage to these Bronco SUVs. However, nothing indicated that the fire came from the SUVs themselves. Given the extensive damage, it got us thinking of what exactly makes a brand-new vehicle a total loss.

How did these 2021 Ford Bronco SUVs catch fire?

An image of a 2021 Ford Bronco affected by a fire in a transport trailer.
2021 Ford Bronco | Bronco 6G

This 2021 Ford Bronco story comes from a truck stop in Greenville, Illinois. According to CarBuzz, the pictures taken above show the two fire-damaged SUVs being offloaded from a transport truck and into flatbeds. According to CarBuzz, the user who shared these images believes the fire itself began inside the transport truck. As you might imagine, there is no exact confirmation as to what caused the fire.

However, as CarBuzz points out, it is important to note that nothing suggests that the fire started in either of the SUVs. Given how important the 2021 Ford Bronco is to the carmaker, the last thing they’d want is for the public to fear their SUVs could be a fire hazard. Additionally, CarBuzz report that these two are pre-production models, not actual customer SUVs. As a result, this fire incident won’t affect you if you’ve placed an order for the off-roading SUV.

What determines a total loss?

2021 Ford Bronco with donut doors
2021 Ford Bronco | Ford

While these fire-damaged 2021 Ford Bronco Sport models are just pre-production units, they are likely a total loss. According to Allstate, the process for determining whether or not your vehicle is a total loss is quite simple. The process evaluates the amount of damage caused to the vehicle versus the car’s overall value. If the damage’s cost exceeds more than 75 percent of its current value, it will likely be totaled.

As you might imagine, determining the value of a crashed vehicle is no easy feat. As a result, Allstate reports that insurance companies look at a vehicle’s mileage, overall condition, and purchase year. If you have a loan on your vehicle, this could easily present a major challenge.

If your insurance payout does not cover the remaining balance on your loan, you’ll be on the hook for the difference. To protect against this, Allstate recommends optioning gap insurance when purchasing a vehicle. As the name suggests, this insurance covers the gap between the payout and the remaining balance on the loan. Since these 2021 Ford Bronco models are pre-production examples, the transport company likely has its own insurance to cover incidents such as this.

What does a salvage title mean?

A photo of the 2020 Ford Bronco outdoors.
2021 Ford Bronco | Ford

If we had to guess, these pre-production 2021 Ford Bronco models will likely head back to the factory to get disassembled. However, total loss vehicles are often purchased and fixed up. In this case, the vehicle in question may carry a salvage title. According to The Drive, this means that the car was involved in an accident at some point and declared a total loss. While in most cases this indicates a severe accident, that is not always the case.

A thread on S2000 Forums covers one Honda S2000 owner that had his seats stolen out of his car. According to the user, each seat cost the insurance company well over $3,000 to replace. As a result, this accident-free sports car was declared a total loss. This means you should keep a close eye on what exactly caused the vehicle to be determined a total loss. If it is something relatively simple, you may walk away with a great deal.