Why the Cost of Vehicle Repair Has Skyrocketed

October 19th, 2011
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Auto Warranty Repair

As technology improves in the automotive industry, drivers may assume the vehicles are built to sustain more impact, possibly reducing the cost to repair the vehicle after a collision. To test this theory the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) developed a study to determine what the cost of damage would be to newer vehicles.

One of the largest contributors to the cost of damage associated with the IIHS testing was that the bumpers on  newer vehicles do not align, meaning the vehicles are bumping into each other hitting difference parts of the vehicle, causing more damage.

The tests were conducted at low speeds of 3-6 mph, where vehicle bumpers would hit into other bumper-like objects to test the damage of the impact. The results were alarming. The older make vehicles such as the 1981 Ford Escort withstood more impact and caused less damage than the newer 2007 Nissan Maxima’s. The damage to the Ford Escort was estimated at $469 while the Nissan was estimated at $9,051.

With the increase in technology, why does the cost of repairing a vehicle increasing? Vehicles are built with some of the best safety features than ever before, protecting the safety of the driver and its passengers, but those same vehicles are built with materials that not withstand damage at slow impact. One slow collision, such as a rolling stop light collision, can destroy the bumper in one blow, requiring the entire front bumper to be replaced, costing the driver hundreds if not thousands in damage.

With the increase in cost of repairing a vehicle, insurance premiums are increase across the board. In the past decade the average cost of a collision claim has rose 38%, forcing insurance costs to rise. Not only are vehicles less sustainable to impact but also the parts in new vehicles are becoming increasingly more expensive to replace. The cost of a once $20 headlight can cost up to hundreds of dollars for the newer LCD lights. The lighting system in newer vehicles is also becoming increasingly more difficult for the average consumer to access. Many drivers are being forced to go to dealerships and mechanics to change a headlight because newer vehicles make them difficultly accessible for the average consumer without the proper tools.

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