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[March 21, 2014]
Electronic nightmares [Western Mail (Wales)]
(Western Mail (Wales) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) COMPLEX electronics are making cars more prone to expensive breakdowns, according to automotive specialist Warranty Direct.
Electrical faults have increased by two thirds over the past five years, according to the firm's Reliability Index which covers cars more than three years old. Electrical faults are the most common across all cars on Warranty Direct's database of 50,000 policies, with almost a quarter (23%) needing a repair every year.
Meanwhile, the average cost of repairing failures caused by electrical gremlins has also increased by nearly a third (32%) over the same period, to Pounds 300, but can rise as high as Pounds 2,804.
While relays and alternators are the most likely components to break, newer electronic innovations like parking sensors are typically among the many faults reported.
Warranty Direct managing director David Gerrans says: "As automotive technology continues to advance, cars get more and more complex. Nowhere is that more so than in the field of computer technology and other electronics.
"But, while these advances can undoubtedly improve the performance and safety of cars, they also have a knock-on effect on how often they fail and how much it costs to repair them.
"Workshops now need advanced diagnostic tools to safely and effectively fix cars and, in some cases, it appears only franchised dealers can access some of the systems on newer cars, meaning that the customer is hit with a higher labour rate bill." Among the cars most likely to suffer an electronic failure are luxury and premium brands, like Porsche and Bentley, while Japanese brands Subaru, Mitsubishi and Daihatsu have the soundest electronics - only one in seven Subaru models on the Warranty Direct database have suffered gremlins.
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