When word first came down that Congress was looking to mandate that all new vehicles to be sold with Event Data Recorders, we knew that the added tech was going to be pricey. According to Automotive News, if legislators have their way, the new automotive black boxes will need to be both fire resistant and waterproof. Add in a significant amount of recording time before and after an accident, and suddenly the price tag per unit could soar up to a lofty $4,000 to $5,000. Currently, the EDRs track about five seconds worth of information just before an accident, though some legislators are pushing for up to 75 seconds of recording pre-crash. Between the fire insulation and added recording time, analysts believe the devices will swell to shoebox size, also creating a new packaging issue for automakers.

And who's going to be shelling out the cash for the indestructible, mammoth recorders? The short answer is the automakers, though you can bet they won't just be soaking up the cost out of the goodness of their hearts. Odds are that $4,000-per-box price tag will be passed right along to consumers if such devices become law, so don't be surprised to see sticker prices climb if the boxes become mandatory in 2015.

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]