What causes certified companies to be so committed in some states and not in others? Take the state of Michigan for example, there are almost 100 businesses listed as AGRSS / AGSC certified. Even Colorado has 35 registered glass repair and replacement companies. Then you have Nevada, only 2 certified shops total, both of which are located in the Henderson area. There are no certified shops listed for the Las Vegas or Reno areas (which I was really hoping this was a typo). If you would like to confirm these figures for yourself, feel free to visit http://www.autoglasssafetycouncil.org/registered-businesses/
One of my thoughts was “We just don’t have bad enough weather and terrain to have excessive rollover accidents where improper installation is more likely to cause personal injury”. Is the lack of people seeing the windshield actually flying out of their car’s frame not happening as much here in Nevada? I know a lot of windshields are popping out on Air Bag deployment because we just fixed a few cars earlier today from faulty post-accident work. These windshields were installed without removing the lower cowl from the vehicle. This caused the glue to become displaced across the bottom of the glass and meant 30% of the windshield was not attached to the vehicle. That very problem is what inspired me to write this article.
It seems on a normal basis, we see large amounts of incorrectly installed windshields. Our shop handles a few hundred windshield replacements a month, which is just a small fraction of the glass repairs that happen in the Clark County area monthly. This makes me wonder what the actual percentage of improperly installed windshields in our area is.
Is your windshield factory installed? Usually the factory glass has the vehicles brand etched somewhere in it. This is a good sign that it was installed properly. If no auto manufacturer logo is present, chances are it has been replaced. This may not be a call for alarm, but take a good look at the windshield and make sure that everything looks in place. A few major indicators of improper auto glass install are leaking water and excessive wind noise. These two issues indicate the urethane used to attach and seal the windshield to the vehicle was not applied correctly.
Most modern day cars are produced using a uni-body design. This means there is not a separate frame under the car for extra chassis support. In the case of most German, Japanese and American brand cars, the handling and ride of the vehicle can be compromised greatly due to faulty windshield installation. Upon deployment of an air bag, the windshield can easily blow out of a vehicle as air bag speeds can reach almost 200 miles per hour. The passenger side airbag is designed to deflect off the windshield in order inflate properly without deploying straight into the passenger causing bodily harm. If the windshield pops out during deployment, the air bag never makes it to the passenger to properly assist them in accidents.
The vehicles windshield also plays a major role in reinforcing the strength of the roof and body. If the vehicle is involved in a roll over accident, the windshield acts as a support system to keep the roof from crushing the occupants. A properly installed windshield creates almost 60% of the rigidity in the upper portion of the vehicle.
New vehicle designs and safety requirements are released every year. Updated variables are constantly being introduced from glue adhesion to glass flexibility, modern day cars are an ever changing set of rules and regulations. Using the wrong products on a vehicle can cause massive safety and functionality issues. Education and certification are the only ways to stay up on the latest and most important changes to in automotive industry. AGRSS is now the only recognized Auto Glass Replacement Standard which addresses procedures, education, and product performance. Certifications are only good for a 2 year period and a continuing education program is in effect throughout the certification process. Without a proper and ongoing education in auto glass repair and safety, an improperly trained shop can be just as dangerous as a head on collision in an automobile accident.