High-tech, high price: Car safety features costly to fix

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Vehicles are equipped with more technology now, which means fixing them can be much more complicated and costly.

Josh Tomaszewski has been in and around cars in a garage since he was 12 years old. Now he owns his own shop, Alpine Collision Center in Grand Rapids. He’s seen a lot change since he was a kid, including the price of repairs.

Tomaszewski says one car came in recently with a chip in its windshield. On average, it would usually cost up to $300 to replace. But a windshield with a camera system costs nearly $1,700 to swap out.

“That’s because the windshield had the cameras in it for the systems and then on top of that, the cost was expensive but then also the scanning and recalibration was extra costs,” Tomaszewski explained. 

Advanced driver assist systems are everywhere now. Vehicles have sensors inside the bumpers warning you about an object next to you, which is why a small fender bender can be a pricey fix.

“Simple bumper removal and replacement or even if it’s not being replaced, (it) must be removed and installed.  A lot of it is right behind the high hit, high target area right inside the quarter panel. The front rear bumpers, that’s where a lot of the radars and cameras are now,” explained technician Shaun O’Neill. 

But while repairing advanced driver assist aystems can be costly, O’Neill also points out they save lives, which is priceless.

“You get in an accident, you could be paying a lot more in medical bills or down time for work,” he said.

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