News - Ford
Falcon crash repair costs blow out
Latest crash test costing reveals the new Falcon is more expensive to repair
13 Dec 2002
By JOHN MELLOR
THE new BA Ford Falcon is 28 per cent more expensive to repair in a low-speed crash than the previous AUII, according to figures released this week.
But the Falcon was so inexpensive to repair that, in spite of such a large increase in cost of repairs of the new model, it remains the second cheapest to repair of all cars tested in the survey and the cheapest in the large car segment.
In the RACV/NRMA survey, a large pendulum is swung into the front of each car to simulate a crash of 15km/h into a solid barrier or 30km/h into a parked car.
The repair cost is estimated by experienced insurance assessors based on repair times, parts and labour costs. The survey is designed to help motorists choose cars that will attract lower insurance premiums. It is not a safety survey.
The survey measures the actual repair cost and also rates the repair cost as a percentage of the total cost of the car.
The assessors estimated the BA Falcon repairs would cost $2948 - the second lowest of any car. The figure represents just 8.5 per cent of the Falcon purchase price - the lowest percentage figure of any car in the survey.
The VY Holden Commodore took a leap in repair cost over its predecessor, gaining 10 per cent to $3313 - 9.8 per cent of the purchase price.
The cheapest car overall was the Daewoo Tacuma at $2814, followed by the Falcon at $2948, the Hyundai Accent at $2969, Mazda6 at $3013 and Mitsubishi Magna at $3046.
The Mazda6 recorded the best improvement. It was 36 per cent cheaper to repair than the Mazda 626 it replaced. The new Subaru Forester ($3557) was 27 per cent cheaper to repair than the old model.
The most expensive car to repair was the latest Honda CRV at $7409 - a 22 per cent leap over its predecessor. That makes the Honda about $4400 more expensive to repair than the Falcon for the same accident.
Other big bills were racked up by the Renault Scenic at $7342, Toyota RAV4 ($7300) and Hyundai Trajet ($7276).
The most expensive car to repair in terms of its purchase price is the Ford Ka2. The pendulum inflicted damage worth $5700 to the Ka, which accounts for a whopping 35.6 per cent of the purchase price.
Small cars fair particularly badly when measured against their purchase price because they are the cheapest cars to buy but quite expensive to repair.
As a group, small cars average 27.3 per cent of purchase price to repair compared with large cars like Falcon and Commodore that cost an average of just 9.8 per cent of purchase price to repair.
Winners and losers(as a percentage of purchase price):Large:
Best: Ford Falcon 8.5% ($2948)
Worst: Toyota Avalon 12.7% ($4304)Medium:
Best: Mazda6 8.9% ($3013)
Worst: Holden Vectra 16.9% ($4903)Small-medium:
Best: Subaru Impreza 10% ($4207)
Worst: Nissan Pulsar 31.1% ($6378)Small:
Best: Holden Barina 18.7% ($3273)
Worst: Ford Ka2 35.6% ($5700)People-movers:
Best: Daewoo Tacuma 10.4% ($2814)
Worst: Renault Scenic 23% ($7342)Small 4WDs:
Best: Subaru Outback 9.5% ($3830)
Worst: Daihatsu Terios 27.1% ($5090)* Airbags not includedIt is important to note that the survey does not take into account if an airbag deploys during the test.
Twin airbags can add between $2000 and $5000 to the cost of repairing a car. Apart from the cost on new airbags, deployment in most cases damages the steering wheel boss and the fascia, and can break the windscreen as well.
RACV chief engineers vehicles Michael Case said airbag deployment was not accounted for because the organisation did not want to penalise car-makers for providing additional airbags nor encourage them to delete airbags in order to get a better insurance rating.
He said some airbags in imported cars had deployed during the low-speed test. Airbags in imported cars are set to go off at lower speeds than Australian-made cars because they are designed for markets where seatbelt wearing is optional.
In Australia, the bags deploy in higher-speed crashes where seatbelts are losing their effectiveness because of the higher impact on drivers and passengers.
2002 Low Speed Crash Test Results
* Air-conditioning has been regarded as standard equipment on some vehicles which have had extended marketing deals.
* Prices include 10% GST.
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