Fleet News

Car makers fight back at hi-tech cost claims

CAR manufacturers are fighting back against claims that adding more technology to their vehicles will set fleet costs soaring. Thatcham - The Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre - says repair costs for vehicles could rise in future as more and more expensive hi-tech equipment is added to vehicles as standard.

But car firms say technology, such as airbags and engine management systems, has been installed at the request of motorists and many of their gadgets cut costs and help prolong the life of vehicles. They say Thatcham must not forget hi-tech equipment, such as anti-lock brakes, also cuts accidents, even though it might be expensive to replace.

And manufacturers have backed up their claims with examples of technology also being used to create simple equipment such as deformable bumpers which withstand low-speed impacts and are cheap to replace, helping cut fleet costs. BMW says although hi-tech parts are expensive to replace, fleet customers have nothing to fear about reliability.

Peugeot, which recently said it was extending servicing intervals for its cars to 20,000 miles to cut costs said savings would not include expensive electronic items, but these would not need replacing. Toyota also sprang to the defence of manufacturers, saying ultra modern equipment should be seen as a major money saver, instead of a potential drain on resources.

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