New technologies such as Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) require special equipment and training when service is needed, which create additional maintenance costs.
“One factor that emerged in 2018 and continued to gain momentum in 2019 is the growing number of fleet vehicles featuring ADAS, such as collision avoidance and lane departure warning,” said Chris Foster, manager, truck & equipment maintenance for ARI. “This technology is now included as standard equipment on a wide-range of popular fleet models and these systems include expensive components that are pushing repair costs higher.”
A minor collision that used to only require a bumper cover replacement can now involve bumper cover and radar replacement, along with pre- and post-system scans and ADAS recalibration.
“The introduction of ADAS has made the greatest impact on vehicle repair costs. ADAS is a great step forward for vehicle safety because it helps prevent many accidents. Some collision repair costs are saved through the prevention of accidents; however, this new technology adds new components to vehicles, such as cameras, proximity sensors, and radar/lidar,” said Kelley Hatlee, national service department customer support supervisor for Enterprise Fleet Management. “It also adds additional steps to common repair procedures that didn’t exist previously. For example, many minor body repairs, windshield replacements, and steering and suspension repairs now require ADAS recalibration. This adds to the complexity of the repair, increasing labor costs.”
ADAS sensors built into windshields and rearview mirrors are adding complexity and cost to windshield replacements.
“For example, the replacement cost of a windshield in an ADAS-equipped vehicle is typically higher than that of a non-ADAS unit,” said Foster of ARI. “In addition to the increase cost of the windshield itself, the vehicle also often requires a recalibration of the entire system which is an additional cost factor.”
In addition, ADAS systems add many new technologically advanced components to vehicles, such as cameras, proximity sensors, and radar/lidar.
“As vehicle specifications and parts become more technologically advanced, the cost to repair and/or replace becomes much more expensive in parts, labor, and downtime,” said George Albright, director of fleet maintenance for Merchants Fleet. “Advanced safety features and creature comfort setting on vehicles can be costly to repair, including but not limited to seat features, windshields, side view mirrors, driver displays/screens, cameras, sensors, and more.”