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Mitchell Report: Vehicle Life Cycle Linked to Repair Costs

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May 13, 2015—Vehicle life cycle has an influence on repair costs when it comes to parts selection and overall parts costs, according to Mitchell’s Q2 2015 Trend Report

With an increase in average repair severity across the U.S., Mitchell examined four particular vehicles and their place in the life cycle of that body style. Mitchell selected four popular midsize sedans in different stages of the life cycle and surveyed all repairable estimates for the 2014 calendar year:

Vehicle Average Repair Cost
2012 Camry $2,882.32
2012 Fusion $2,489.70
2012 Malibu $2,536.89
2012 Passat


For overall repair, the mid-cycle Camry had the highest costs with the Passat coming in second. The end-of-cycle vehicles, the Fusion and the Malibu, were the lowest cost to repair.

When looking at part utilization by part type, the vehicles with the highest OEM part dollars were the all-new for 2012 Passat and the midcycle Camry. The two vehicles in their last year of cycle had the lowest OEM parts spend, validating that the styling life cycle influences parts choice and availability.

When it comes to labor hours and refinish materials costs, the midcycle Camry had the highest pricing. However, the Fusion, which is in the last year of styling, has the lowest overall labor and refinish cost.

Overall, Mitchell said that the data shows that vehicles entering the end of the styling cycle are less expensive to repair, particularly when it comes to parts selection and overall part costs.

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