The Hidden Cost of Car Safety Features
January 30, 2020
After the windshield cracked on Ted Hine’s 2017 Subaru Forester, he was shocked when a dealership quoted $1,400 for a replacement. Safelite AutoGlass, a national auto glass repair and replacement chain, was cheaper but still surprisingly high at $910. Hine recalled paying $150 as recently as five years ago for a similar repair on his previous car, and a mobile technician did the job right in his driveway.
“I’m 74 years old and retired, on a limited fixed income,” Hine said. “I can’t afford $900-plus for a windshield every time a truck randomly throws a rock at me.”
Hine’s Subaru has EyeSight, a suite of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) that includes forward collision warning (FCW), automatic emergency braking (AEB), lane departure warning (LDW), and adaptive cruise control (ACC). EyeSight’s components include a pair of cameras mounted inside the windshield that help ACC and other convenience and advanced safety systems, such as AEB, calculate the distance from the car to objects ahead. A windshield replacement for Hine’s Subaru now requires glass that’s more complex to manufacture, so the cameras can see clearly. The cameras must also be recalibrated by technicians using expensive equipment.
EyeSight is available on most new Subarus. The manufacturer isn’t the only one with this type of system. Most new cars and trucks for sale are now available with various ADAS features.
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