ADAS technology contributes to rise in vehicle repair costs

A new investigation has revealed that although Innovative Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) fitted into the latest vehicles are important safety aids, they are adding significantly to the cost of car repair bills. Findings by consumer publication What Car? reveal that quotes obtained for various ADAS replacement sensors included prices reaching as high as:

• £1,459 for an ACC sensor on an Audi Q5,
• £1,629 for a distance sensor on a Volkswagen Touareg,
• £2,024 for a forward collision mitigation unit on a Mitsubishi Outlander.

At the other end of the scale:
• £690 was charged for a radar sensor on a Toyota C-HR,
• £483 for the same part on a Skoda Kodiaq.

According to the Association of British Insurers, the average cost of a car repair bill has risen by 32% over the past three years to £1,678. With ADAS technology currently fitted to around 6% of vehicles on UK roads and expected to rise to around 40% by 2020 that cost looks set to increase even further, according to the magazine.

ADAS technologies use cameras and radar sensors to help to mitigate the risk of a collision and improve driver safety. They include:
• Automatic emergency braking (AEB),
• Lane keeping assistance,
• Blind spot warning systems,
• Speed limiting devices.

The sensors behind those systems are expensive to replace and are often housed in vulnerable areas of the car, such as behind bumpers and windscreens. That means they are causing a steep increase in the cost of replacing those traditionally cheaper parts, sometimes by as much as 123%, according to analysis by Thatcham Research.