High tech equals high repair costs - just like it's always been

Any time that we start to see a hint of paradigm shift in the auto industry, it's mandatory that the detractors come out of the woodwork with stories of woe. For example, in the article linked below, we learn that someone can get taken for a $8,000 ride to replace one of Toyota's hybrid transmissions.

But, people tend to forget that OEM parts and shop labor for recently-introduced vehicles have always been expensive. Those that don't work on newer vehicles - or those that don't ever touch their own vehicle - get used to ultra-cheap refurbished components. Take the Wayback Machine to 1976 and look up the price for a brand-new carburetor, distributor, or hubcap; one would surely leave "the vapors" after adjusting for inflation. Fast-forward to 1986 and get a quote for a fuel injector, mass airflow sensor, or aluminum wheel, and our prospective consumer had better break out the smelling salts. While we're popping the balloon of nostalgia, don't forget that modern vehicles spend far less time in the shop.

Two things are definitely true when it comes to repair costs. First, modern cars are indeed more expensive to repair after a collision. Blame the switch from big chrome bumpers and body-on-frame structures to energy-absorbing crash technology for that. The upside is that those parts perish so that the vehicle's occupants don't have to. Second, it usually goes that the more expensive the vehicle, the more expensive the repair bills, so be careful when buying a depreciated luxury barge that will soon need be in need of TLC.

[Source: MSN Money]

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