When a car becomes damaged to a point that the repair costs exceed a certain portion of the car's value, the car is considered a "total loss." The exact ratio of repair cost to vehicle value that is considered to be a total loss varies from state to state, but is generally at least 70%. When a vehicle is a total loss, the insurance company normally takes title to the vehicle and can sell it with a salvage title for a licensed body shop to rebuild.
Kia recently announced a recall for 2008 and 2009 Kia Sportage vehicles for a risk of fire. The electronic control unit for the hydraulic fluid module can overheat and cause a fire. The recall notice advises owners to park the car outside but doesn't say why. I currently represent an owner of one of these vehicles in a lawsuit filed before the recall was announced. In my case and in several other reports of fires in 2008 and 2009 Sportages, the cars caught fire after they were turned off. My understanding is that a module can continue to run after the car is shut off and hydraulic fluid leaking on that module starts a fire.