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, according to new research by AAA.
The reason is expensive sensors and their calibration requirements, says the AAA. 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.
“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 tests have shown that ADAS offers many safety benefits. However, minor vehicle damage that affects these systems may be inevitable. Among vehicles studied by AAA, 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.
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.
“It is not unusual for windshields to get chipped or cracked, especially for drivers who commute on a daily basis,” said Nielsen. “This may be an eyesore on a regular car, but when it falls in the line of sight of a camera or the driver, it becomes a safety issue that needs immediate attention by a facility qualified to work on these systems.”
AAA evaluated three top-selling models in popular categories for the study. These 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.