The trade-off for increased safety is the increased cost of repairs of cars nowadays. As automakers add more and more technology to their products, the cost of all the additional components climbs north. Safety and driver-assistance systems like ABS, lane-departure warning, automaatic emergency braking come with their own set of sensors, wiring, computing units, etc.
The cost of these systems is transparent, mentioned right along with the list of options. The less obvious fact is how expensive these systems can be if they need replacement. A minor fender bender can require the systems reliant on the front-end be fixed or replaced.
In fact, if you were to compare repair costs of cars devoid of fancy accessories except for basic electronics to that of a tech-loaded model, the latter serves you with a charge twice that of the former. For example, a light brush with a wall can cause the ultrasonic parking sensors to conk off, with the parking camera probably suffering the same fate. The average cost of replacement? Between $1,000 to $2,400. And this cost is just for one electronic system.
Cars with a lot of electronics need more time for repairs. The complicated electronic components take extra time to install and calibrate correctly, translating to increased labour costs.
Another angle for cost estimates of repairing cars with broken technology is windshield-based sensors. Repairs are more expensive for vehicles that have such systems. Windshields have to meet stringent standards of clarity for the sensors to see through them without optical hindrance. There is also the ever-present possibility of needing to recalibrate the range of sensors in the event of damage. Estimates for windshield repair range from $1,200 to $1,600.
Before you discredit the systems and join the bare-basic-automobile bandwagon, it must be noted that these systems, however expensive, actually do their job of preventing or warning about collisions. The features are also helpful in tight spots like parking, jam-packed traffic, and the likes. Therefore, they are good additions to cars. You just need to be prepared to pay a hefty sum if any of the systems are damaged.