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Discussion Starter #1
Interesting read...

quotes:

Before the advent of air bags, only 8 percent of damaged cars were totaled. Today, the figure is nearly 20 percent and rising.

And then there's aluminum. At least five cars come with all-aluminum bodies and frames, including the Audi A8, Acura NSX, Honda Insight, Mercedes CL, and the new Jaguar XJ8. So far, few body shops are authorized to fix these cars. For example, only 13 body shops nationwide can do repairs on the XJ8. ... The total investment in training and tools to run an aluminum-body repair shop can run as much as $200,000.


They've already raised rates on cars with xenon headlights.

Twenty years ago, repair manuals for certain cars were 100 or so pages long. Now, they hold over 1 million pages and are available only electronically
 

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Because aluminum is difficult to weld, most parts are "bonded" (glued) and riveted together. A riveting tool to replace aluminum parts costs $10,000. Another tool to remove rivets runs $9,000. The total investment in training and tools to run an aluminum-body repair shop can run as much as $200,000
Interesting. I wonder how much a Lotus dealer will need to invest to repair the Elise. Ultimately, that investment will be passed down to us.
 

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Well, my dealer mentioned a few weeks ago that Lotus had just asked for $25k to send over "tools and stuff"; obviously not getting into bodywork kind of material, just Elise-specific tools, meters, etc. "Stuff" is supposed to include oodles of watches, shirts, etc. - merch we've been lined up since Fall '03 to get a chance to buy. :p
 

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"Repairing a new car a decade ago, for example, cost an average of $2,578 per claim, while in 2003, the cost had ballooned to $3,681, a 43 percent increase that has outpaced inflation"

I have read about this "report" in another forum. The above claim is mis-leading. The statement appears to indicate that there has been a huge increase in repair costs, however, adjusted for inflation, the difference was only a few percent - not bad considering all the "high tech" stuff in the cars. In has outpaced inflation, but not by much.

Anything from the "Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI)" needs to be taken with a grain of salt (actually the whole shaker), as they are simply a front for the insurance industry. They are very good at conducting studies to justify reasons that the insurance industry has to raise their rates...

Tim Mullen
 

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I don't think body repair will be an issue, as it's fibreglass. I'm sure chassis repair will either be contracted (by LCU) out to a special center(s) who'll have the appropriate tools, not realistic to expect a dealer to have the capability to do chassis bonding and repair.

Chris
 

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One thing to consider as well is that while repair costs have gone up significantly, medical costs have gone up far faster, and as near as I can tell, thats the bulk of what your coverage is paying for. So all of theses doo-dads that are expensive to replace, but reduce injuries or save lives should actually reduce insurance rates.
 

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Another thing: how many accidents have new automotive technologies prevented? Granted, it may be more expensive to fix, but if the accident rate per-capita goes down, it shouldn't affect rates directly.
 

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Don't know if you guys read EVO magazine from The UK but they did a story on a long term test of a 340R. The driver's recent "small accident" (right front end body damage) had a total repair bill of approximately 9,700 Pounds Sterling which is about $17,000. I saw the photos of the wrecked 340 (it was drivable) from a previous article and it didn't look bad, but....

Mark
 

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zvezdah1 said:
I'm sure chassis repair will either be contracted (by LCU) out to a special center(s) who'll have the appropriate tools, not realistic to expect a dealer to have the capability to do chassis bonding and repair.
I suspect that no one will be able to repair the chassis. The chassis is bonded together with high temperature - kind of hard to do with a complete car.

The more likely option will be to replace the chassis with a new one - it's not as difficult or expensive as you might expect. You can still get Lotus Factory made chassis to repair '60s & '70s vintage Elans and Europas - Esprits too. Last time I checked the prices, it was only a couple of thousand for the chassis...

Tim Mullen
 
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