whenever I edit a vehicles.meta file it deletes everything in it. I edit it, launch gtav it, it crashes on startup, I reopen openiv and the meta file is completely empty. does anyone have any idea what could be causing this?
Not a clue. If you are right-clicking & editing from within OpenIV then I would try extracting the 'vehicles.meta' & editing in with Notepad/Notepad++ etc & then reinsert it into the .rpf instead (or vice versa).
Best guess would be that the .rpf archive is corrupted in some way. Test with an old backup if you have one or replace with default rpf archive & test it (if you are modding the 'mods' folder archives & have vanilla files available).
Is it EVERY 'vehicles.meta' that does this? Ones in other .rpf's etc? Or just certain ones? What about 'handling.meta'? Can you edit & save them fine or are they empty too?