That's the title of the latest article at Eric Peters' blog. He points out that modern technology in our vehicles is costing all of us a lot more when it comes to repairs, even for something as ostensibly simple as replacing a windshield.
Embedded in the glass – part of the “assembly” – is saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety technology. It’s usually part of the rearview mirror, technically – but that’s now part of the windshield assembly in more and more new cars.
It’s no longer the simple – and generic/universal – glue it in place rearview mirror cars used to have.
The rearview mirror is almost an afterthought.
The rest of the assembly – that huge chunk of plastic that’s glued to the glass – contains sensors and cameras, integral to saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety systems such as Lane Keep Assist, Automated Emergency Braking and so on. Some keep track of what’s happening outside the car and some (like Subaru’s EyeSight system) also keep track of what’s going on inside the car.
. . .
The replacement windshield for the 2016 [vehicle] costs say $200; $150 for the functionally identical aftermarket/generic replacement. But the same glass for the 2018 [model] costs twice as much – because it’s no longer just the glass . . . and because there is no generic/aftermarket option.
That stone chip just got a lot more expensive.
Your insurance, too. Both the premium and the deductible. People are beginning to notice – especially after they file that first claim for a replacement windshield. They are fall-to-their-knees grateful when they find out that’s only going to cost them $100 (for the deductible) to get that $1,000 windshield.
A month later, they get the new bill – the “adjusted” premium (and deductible) which – in defense of the insurance mafia – reflects a legitimate cost.
What’s not legitimate is that we can’t opt out – of either.
There's more at the link.
The entire article is worth reading in full. For years, manufacturers have been making vehicles that are more and more difficult for an owner or home mechanic to maintain, due to computerization and other "advances". It's getting to the point that if a car's more than two or three years old, an accident results in an automatic insurance write-off of the entire vehicle, because the cost of replacement parts, and/or the time and skilled labor and equipment needed to install them, is prohibitive. Cheap repairs aren't, not anymore.
I'm grateful for many of the advances in automotive technology that make our lives easier today . . . but I can't help think of my first cars (a Morris 1100 Mk. 1, followed by a Chevrolet Firenza 1300), which were shade-tree-mechanic maintenance specials, and on which I could turn a wrench without fear of unscrewing the inscrutable.