New Car Safety Technology Saves Lives But Doubles Repair Costs

When shopping for a new car, safety is one of the biggest factors many people consider. But according to new research by AAA, advanced driver assistance systems, known as ADAS, can bump up the repair cost of damaged vehicles.

In fact, AAA found that in a minor front or rear collision involving a car with ADAS technology the repair costs can run as high as $5,300. That’s about $3,000 more than repairing the same vehicle without the safety features.

“Advanced safety systems are much more common today,” 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.”

Aldo Carducci, owner of AC Auto in West Hartford, says safety features like bumper sensors that are used to help with the automatic emergency braking, side mirrors or rear camera sensors, blind-spot monitoring, and front camera sensors on windshields are vulnerable and can really add up if they’re damaged.

“Newer model cars are becoming tech companies on wheels,” said Aldo Carducci. “What we did 20 years ago won’t work today.”

Carducci says even though the technology is designed to save lives, it comes at a price.

“People come in from a simple backing out of their driveway. They may clip the side mirror on their garage and it used to be a simple repair. Nowadays they end up filing insurance claims,” said Carducci.

AAA says one in three Americans can’t afford an unexpected $500 repair bill. So, the agency urges consumers to get an insurance policy review and consider the potential repair cost of these advanced systems. And they recommend that you take your vehicle to a certified collision specialist that can do the repairs. NBC Connecticut reached out to Auto Alliance, a trade group of automobile manufacturers, for comment on AAA’s survey. We’re still waiting to hear back.

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