Repairs for vehicles with new technology costing owners extra

Posted at 4:01 PM, Oct 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-30 18:59:18-04

BOZEMAN – AAA reports vehicles with advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) like auto braking, blind spot detection, and lane departure can cost twice as much to repair.

A & D Auto Body Repair in Bozeman has seen more and more cars with advanced technology coming through their doors. What some car owners do not realize is the cost associated with this technology.

“We get a lot of phone calls like ‘Well, if it is over a couple hundred dollars I’ll probably turn it into insurance,” said A & D Chief Operations Manager Lisa Jarvis. “We are seeing you can’t get much of a repair for under a couple hundred dollars.”

For instance, more than 14 million windshields are replaced in the U.S. annually. If the car has ADAS, the cost is close to $1,500 and according to AAA, that is about three times more than if the car didn’t have the technology.

Repairs for front radar systems cost anywhere from $900-$1300. Rear radar sensors cost $850-$2,050, and mirrors or rear camera sensors can cost anywhere from $500-$1,100.

Why the increase in cost? Jarvis credits that to the ADAS and the increased hours mechanics have to spend repairing these vehicles.

“There are a lot of calibrations that need to happen, there is scanning of vehicles. So you want to make sure you have all of that done so that you have maybe the accident avoidance braking, but that works after a collision,” said Jarvis.

One-third of Americans can’t afford car repairs greater than $500, and from the report done by AAA the cost of a minor front or rear collision can be as high as $5,300, more than double if the car didn’t have the ADAS technology.

If the car is not repaired or isn’t calibrated correctly, the vehicle could malfunction.

“Braking just driving down the road, something like that,” said Jarvis. “Or the lane assist going off when you are not going out of the lane. So there is definitely safety issues because you want that to be working correctly whether you are in or out of an accident.”

Jarvis said the car industry is leaning more toward technology-based systems and pretty soon safety features will be mandatory.

Reporting by Mederios Babb for MTN News