New Driver Assist Tech Can Double Repair Bills for Minor Collisions, Report Finds 

Driver Assist Technology

More and more vehicles are becoming equipped with driver assist technologies these days as standard or available features.  We are big advocates of these systems because they offer a lot of safety advantages and can go a long way to prevent an accident.  But technology isn’t cheap so be aware that you may see a higher repair bill should those systems be damaged from a collision with another car or even accidentally hitting a mailbox.

AAA Study

Vehicles equipped with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) such as automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning and others, can cost twice as much to repair following a collision due to expensive sensors and their calibration requirements according to new research from the American Automobile Association.

The study found that the repair bill for a minor front or rear collision on a car with ADAS can run as high as $5,300. That’s almost two and half times the repair cost for a vehicle without these systems. Even minor incidents that cause damage to this technology found behind windshields, bumpers and door mirrors can add up to $3,000 in extra repair costs.  

Windshield damage is especially common, with more than 14.5 million replacements annually. Many safety systems rely on cameras positioned behind the windshield that require recalibration when the glass is replaced. In addition, some automakers require the use of factory glass that meets strict standards for optical clarity. Replacing a windshield on a vehicle equipped with a camera behind the glass typically costs approximately $1,500, which can be as much as three times the amount to replace the windshield on a car without the technology.

Vehicles with ADAS may also have radar, camera and ultrasonic sensors located in or behind the front and rear bumpers or bodywork, as well as built into the side mirrors. While most drivers may never find themselves in a collision, these parts can easily be damaged when pulling out of a garage, hitting a mailbox or bumping into other objects.

Driver Assist Study

Vehicles Studied

For this 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 (2018 Nissan Rogue), a medium sedan (2018 Toyota Camry) and a full-size pickup truck (2018 Ford F-150). Each vehicle selected was equipped with the highest available level of ADAS functionality.

Many variables such as the vehicle make and model, the type and location of the sensor and where the work is performed can affect ADAS repair costs. AAA’s research determined the ranges listed below for typical ADAS repair expenses. Note that these numbers are for costs over and above the normal bodywork required following a collision:

Cost Breakdown

  • Front radar sensors used with automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control systems: $900 to $1,300
  • Rear radar sensors used with blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert systems: $850 to $2,050
  • Front camera sensors used with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and lane keeping systems (does not include the cost of a replacement windshield): $850 to $1,900
  • Front, side mirror or rear camera sensors used with around-view systems: $500 to $1,100
  • Front or rear ultrasonic sensors used with parking assist systems: $500 to $1,300

If you do need repairs to an ADAS system, AAA recommends that drivers verify whether the facility is able to properly repair and calibrate the damaged system(s), and request proof of the work once complete.

Check Your Insurance Coverage

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.

Photo Credit:  AAA

 

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