A recent survey by the American Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) yielded results that were concerning at best.
Almost 50% of vehicle owners that were surveyed said that they experienced issues with certain crash-avoidance features after the technology was repaired.
The IIHS contacted more than 3000 owners of vehicles equipped with front-crash prevention, blind-spot detection and rear-view cameras or other visibility-enhancing cameras and 496 reported having a repair done to one of these systems at some point in time.
According to Alexandra Mueller, a senior research scientist at IIHS who designed the survey, “Most of the more than 3,000 owners we contacted said they had never needed to have their crash-avoidance features repaired, but for the minority of owners who did, the problems weren’t always resolved easily,”
“Many had issues with the technology afterward, and some said they had to have the same feature repaired more than once. Still, the vast majority said they would buy a vehicle equipped with the technology again, and most were satisfied with the out-of-pocket cost.”
40 % of the vehicles involved in said repairs, were from the 2019 model year or newer
These problems with crash-avoidance features became especially prominent after windshield replacements or repairs involving crash damage, the IIHS found. About two-thirds of owners whose repairs involved windshield replacement and nearly three-quarters of owners whose repairs involved crash damage said they had issues with the technology after the repair.
In contrast, fewer than half of those who had repairs done for other reasons faced problems afterward, the survey showed.
Repairs such as a windshield replacement can require calibration to the cameras and sensors that the features rely on to work properly. About 60% of those surveyed by IIHS said calibration was included in the repair.
These respondents also reported a higher incidence of post-repair problems, suggesting that technicians might be struggling with the calibration process.
The IIHS said “Calibration software is subject to frequent updates, making it difficult for shops to keep their tools up to date. This is further complicated by a lack of standardization of calibration processes.”
The IIHS said their researchers will continue to monitor the situation to see if there is an improvement.