According to new research from the American Automobile Association (AAA), safety systems could add an extra thousand of extra dollars worth of repair costs.
According to the association, vehicles equipped with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) such as automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, and lane departure warning, can cost twice as much to repair following a collision.
Even minor incidents can cause damage to expensive sensors found behind windshields, bumpers and door mirrors. Removal and replacement (or repair) combined with the cost of calibration could easily add up to $3,000 in extra repair costs, AA reports.
With one-in-three Americans unable to afford an unexpected repair bill of just $500, AAA strongly urges consumers to perform an insurance policy review and consider the potential repair costs of these advanced systems.
“Advanced safety systems are much more common today, with many coming as standard equipment, even on base models,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of automotive engineering and repair. “It’s critical that drivers understand what technology their vehicle has, how it performs and how much it could cost to repair should something happen.”
Previous AAA testing has shown that ADAS offers many safety benefits, however, minor vehicle damage that affects these systems may be inevitable. For the vehicles in AAA’s study, the repair bill for a minor front or rear collision on a car with ADAS can run as high as $5,300, almost two and half times the repair cost for a vehicle without these systems.
As technology continues to evolve, drivers need to be better educated and more aware of their vehicle’s capabilities. This includes understanding how the vehicle systems work as well as how much repairs may cost if damaged.
AAA recommends drivers review their insurance policy regularly to ensure they have the appropriate coverage to cover the cost of repairs for any damage and that deductibles are manageable to minimize out-of-pocket expenses.
For the study, AAA evaluated three top-selling models in popular categories. The vehicle models were selected from AAA’s 2018 Your Driving Costs study and include a small sport utility vehicle, a medium sedan and a full-size pickup truck. To establish repair part types and costs, all replacement parts discussed are original equipment manufacturer (OEM) components charged at their suggested list prices.
To establish mechanical labor costs, a national average customer-pay rate was determined based on data from National Auto Body Research as well as AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities and rounded to the nearest whole dollar amount. Labor rates used do not include state or local taxes, shop supplies fees or hazardous materials disposal charges. To establish repair times, data was obtained from CCC Estimating (Certified Collateral Corporation), Mitchell1 ProDemand, Safelite, Inc. and Nissan, Ford and Toyota dealer repair facilities.