Advanced safety systems costly to repair

With newer vehicles there are many new safety features that are available such as adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, automatic emergency braking, rear cross-traffic alert and blind spot monitoring. These all contribute toward preventing fender-benders and/or mitigate what might be more significant crashes. Unfortunately, there is a negative associated with these new technological advances — costly repairs.

In an article written by Matt Posky, research from the American Automobile Association found that replacing and/or re-calibrating the sensors needed to allow modern driving aids to function properly are severely inflating the cost of even minor repairs. Advanced safety systems are becoming more common, even on base models, and it’s important that drivers understand what technology their vehicle has, how it performs and how much repairs might cost should something happen, says John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair.

Some repair costs from AAA include an additional $900 to $1,300 for a broken front radar sensor, necessary for automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control. Rear radar sensors used with blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert systems can add up to $2,050; ultrasonic sensors used with parking assist systems can add upwards of $1,300. Busted parking cameras can set you back a grand apiece but can be even more if they are used for lane monitoring, emergency braking, or adaptive cruise control.

For vehicles in the AAA study, the repair bill for a minor front or rear collision on a car with a good amount of advanced driving aids could cost up to 2 1/2 times a car without these advanced systems.

AAA advice is to educate yourself, figure out how the vehicles systems work and how much the systems might set you back should something happen. They also recommend to check out your insurance policy routinely to make sure you have appropriate coverage to cover the cost of repairs, and that your deductibles are manageable to minimize out-of-pocket expenses.

Just because repairs are more costly with a vehicle that has these safety features shouldn’t steer you away from vehicles with the new technology, but it behooves you to know just what could happen should you be involved in a crash. Of course, the best way to avoid costly repairs is to avoid any crash! Drive safely at all times — no distractions.