For What It's Worth, a Kia K900 Front Corner Collision Will Cost You Dearly

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
for what its worth a kia k900 front corner collision will cost you dearly

There’s a good reason why insurance premiums are rising like your author’s blood pressure while scanning his Twitter feed, and it’s not just because providers really, really like making money. (They do, of course.) Average repair bills in the U.S. rose by about a third in the past three years, mainly due to the proliferation of safety technology, and insurance premiums followed. Country-wide, premiums rose 7.9 percent in 2017.

Cameras, ultrasonic sensors, and radar sensors tend to be located in areas of the vehicle most prone to damage, even in even low-speed collisions, and sturdy, exposed 5 mph bumpers are unfortunately a thing of the past. Many would prefer to see all automakers design their cars with repairs in mind, thus lowering future costs and premiums.

As an example of the headache of repairing technology-festooned vehicles, behold the average front-corner collision repair cost of one rare Korean sedan.

How does a bill for $34,000 sound? Keep in mind that this vehicle has little to no cachet and depreciates like it’s going out of style. Yes, we’re talking about the Kia K900, aka the Kia LeBron.

Speaking on Autoline This Week, John Van Alstyne, CEO and president of collision repair educator I-CAR, used the seldom-purchased luxury sedan as an example of the nightmare facing body shops in our modern, safety-obsessed age.

“At the end of the day, we’re advocating to OEMs to design for repair,” Van Alstyne said, crediting Ford for its efforts in this area. “You see OEMs kind of having different strategies of the location of these (high-tech) components. Getting it off the bumper is probably a good idea, because bumpers see damage all the time.”

“A normal left-front corner hit on [a Kia K900] results in a repair bill of circa $34,000, compared to an average of about $8,000,” he added. “So what happens there? Insurance cost go up, total lifecycle cost goes up, driven by cost of repair.”

The statistic Van Alstyne tossed out doesn’t come with a lot of context, but it’s not as if the K900 doesn’t have fellow travellers in the outrageous repair bill crowd. Adding a damaged safety system to the cost of straightening steel and affixing a new front fascia isn’t likely to make the owner’s (or insurance provider’s) wallet happier. Still, as far as we know, the K900 is an outlier in its field.

Luckily, there’s precious few of them around. As it prepares to launch an inexplicable second-generation model, Kia sold 27 K900s in the U.S. in August, down from the 35 it sold in August of last year, the 53 it sold in August 2016, and the 386 (!) sold in August 2015. The model’s popularity in Canada, where Kia sold seven K900s in 2017, probably isn’t worth mentioning.

[Image: Kia Motors]

Join the conversation
4 of 49 comments
  • Towncar Towncar on Sep 11, 2018

    The swiveling LED headlights on the K900 no doubt add considerably to the repair cost. Nevertheless, as the recent purchaser of a low-mileage, near-new example for about half-price, I can affirm that these are great cars available at a great price. Still, I guess I better hope nobody hits me. Yikes! BTW, I've still got the car my screen name refers to also--Panther love forever. I just think of the K900 as a sort of Korean cousin. The similarities in size and feel are remarkable.

  • MercedesDieselGuy72 MercedesDieselGuy72 on Sep 11, 2018

    What I find funny (not really) about the insurance industry is that it lobbies for higher and higher technology and safety (IIHS) while sticking owners of said vehicles with the higher premiums... all while said industry enjoys lower fatality/injury rates.

    • Bunkie Bunkie on Sep 11, 2018

      When you consider that the basic economic model of an insurance company is to add cost to distributed risk, it makes sense. The costs of fixing/replacing vehicles and property is easily quantifiable. The cost of paying settlements to people and their survivors is, potentially, orders of magnitude larger. Requiring safety gear that protects people is, overall, a very good thing. The bad part is that the cost of replacing all that expensive safety gear as a result of collisions, is borne by everyone who pays their premiums.

  • Brett Woods 2023 Corvette base model.
  • Paul Taka Hi, where can I find 1982 Honda prelude junkyards in 50 states
  • Poltergeist Make sure you order the optional Dungdai fire suppression system.
  • Prabirmehta I charge my EV at home 100% of the time. The EV is used for in-town driving and the gas guzzling SUV is used for out of town trips. This results in a huge cost saving and rare trips to the gas station.
  • Conundrum Three cylinder Ford Escapes, Chevy whatever it is that competes, and now the Rogue. Great, ain't it? Toyota'll be next with a de-tuned GR Corolla/Yaris powerplant. It's your life getting better and better, yes indeed. A piston costs money, you know.The Rogue and Altima used to have the zero graviy foam front seats. Comfy, but the new Rogue dumps that advance. Costs money. And that color-co-ordinated gray interior, my, ain't it luvverly? Ten years after they perfected it in the first Versa to appeal to the terminally depressed, it graduates to the Rogue.There's nothing decent to buy on the market for normal money. Not a damn thing interests me at all.