Advanced Safety Features Are Making Car Crashes More Expensive Staff
by Staff
Photo credit: Gorodenkoff /

Modern vehicles come equipped with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) that enhance safety and convenience on the road. These systems, including automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, and lane departure warning, have become increasingly common in today's automobiles. However, a recent study conducted by AAA sheds light on an important aspect often overlooked by consumers – the repair costs associated with these sophisticated technologies.

The Cost of Repairing ADAS After a Collision

The AAA study reveals that repairing ADAS following a collision can constitute a substantial portion of the total repair costs. In fact, ADAS-related expenses can account for as much as 37.6% of the overall repair bill. This financial burden arises primarily from the need to replace and calibrate the sensors responsible for these systems.

Even seemingly minor damage to components such as front radar sensors or distance sensors can result in additional repair expenses, potentially reaching up to $1,540. It is crucial for consumers to be aware of these repair costs and prioritize the repair of ADAS systems when necessary to ensure their proper functionality.

The Importance of Properly Functioning ADAS

Greg Brannon, AAA's director of automotive engineering, emphasizes the significance of repairing ADAS systems. He points out that as these safety systems become more widespread, understanding the associated repair costs becomes essential. Moreover, the proper functioning of these systems is crucial in preventing potentially deadly accidents. Therefore, consumers should not only be informed about repair costs but also recognize the importance of addressing any issues promptly.

Factors Influencing ADAS Repair Costs

Several variables can influence the cost of repairing ADAS, including the make and model of the vehicle, the type and location of the damaged sensor, and the repair facility where the work is performed. It's worth noting that ADAS sensors are strategically positioned at the front, sides, and rear of the vehicle.

The AAA study examined four common repair scenarios – front-end collision, side mirror replacement, rear collision, and windshield replacement – to understand the costs associated with repairing these sensors. Radar sensors and cameras damaged in a front-end collision incurred the highest repair costs, while side mirror replacement represented the largest proportion of expenses in the scenarios studied.

Key Findings of the AAA Study

For the vehicles evaluated in the study (model year 2023), AAA found the following average costs for replacing ADAS components in specific repair scenarios:

  • In a minor front collision repair, the average cost was $1,540, accounting for 13.2% of the total repair cost. Approximately 70.8% of this cost was attributed to the ADAS camera included in the side mirror assembly.
  • In a minor rear collision repair, the average cost was $684, representing 40.9% of the total repair estimate of $1,698.
  • In the case of windshield glass replacement involving ADAS components, the cost averaged 25.4%, equivalent to $360.00 of the total repair cost.

Variability in ADAS Component Costs

The study also provided a range of costs for individual ADAS components, which include both parts and specific labor/calibration. These costs, which are in addition to the normal bodywork required following a collision, vary depending on the type of sensor:

  • Front radar sensors used with automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control systems: $500 to $1,300.
  • Front camera sensors used with multiple systems: $600 – $800.
  • Mirror mount, side mirror used with around-view systems: $740 – $1,600.
  • Windshield camera sensor used with lane keeping assistance, traffic sign recognition, and pedestrian detection: $900 – $1,200.
  • Front or rear ultrasonic sensors used with parking assist systems: $300 – $1,000.

Prompt Repairs are Crucial

If an ADAS component fails and causes the system to become inoperable, drivers are alerted by a warning light or message display on the instrument panel. In such cases, it is essential to take the vehicle to a reputable repair facility for prompt and competent repair.

Methodology and Previous Work

The study evaluated the 2023 Ford F-150, 2023 Nissan Rogue, and 2023 Toyota Camry. It's important to note that while AAA previously assessed the 2018 model year versions of these vehicles for a similar purpose, the results are not directly comparable due to differences in standard equipment, changes in labor costs, and methodology. For detailed methodology information, including specific vehicle makes and models, repair scenarios, testing equipment, and labor rates, refer to the full report.

Become an AutoGuide insider. Get the latest from the automotive world first by subscribing to our newsletter here.

This article was co-written using AI and was then heavily edited and optimized by our editorial team. Staff Staff

More by Staff

Join the conversation