Why Did Mercedes Recommend Only its Own Glass for Windshield Replacement?


Recently, Mercedes Benz USA issued a statement in which it “strongly recommends” that drivers who need to get a windshield replaced only use Mercedes Benz products. Why is that?

The automaker says glass made by other companies does not meet the exacting specifications of Mercedes Benz glass, adding that aftermarket glass often does not contain the same technology. These include things such as as solar glass coatings, which provide protection from the sun’s rays and reduce heat levels inside the car. These also can optimize air-conditioning performance and improve fuel economy.

Mercedes says aftermarket glass also might not be as quiet as its Benz glass, either.

OE vs. Aftermarket: So What’s the Difference?

It’s important to know the difference between aftermarket glass and “original equipment” glass. Glass that was made specifically for Mercedes Benz is called “original equipment” or OE glass.

It was put in the vehicle by the car manufacturer during the manufacturing process.

Aftermarket glass refers to glass that’s made for replacement purposes, usually by companies other than the one who first made the glass for the original car. It’s often less expensive than OE glass, but it might not be the same quality or fit as well.

“To promote and maintain its rigorous standards of quality and safety, if a collision repair is necessary, MBUSA strongly recommends that all repairs be performed by a certified technician using only genuine Mercedes-Benz Parts,” reads an excerpt from the company’s six-page statement.

The Mercedes Benz position statement also provides guidance for recalibration of on-board systems and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), such as cameras, rain sensors, antennas and heating elements.

“Aftermarket glass often does not account for these complex electrical components and may interfere with your vehicle’s electronic systems, or cause these electronic systems to not function properly,” the company said.

ADAS systems are designed to increase driver safety, and while they were once considered futuristic, they’re becoming more mainstream.

ADAS includes technology such as collision avoidance, surround view, lane-departure warning, cross traffic alert, park assist and heads-up displays, in which crucial vehicle data such as speed is  projected onto the windshield. That way, the driver doesn’t have to look down as often.

A few years ago, ADAS was seen as an upgrade for higher-end vehicles such as Mercedes Benz, but the technology is becoming standard in most makes and models. And the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is requiring ADAS to be standard in newly manufactured vehicles; for example, by 2018, all new cars must have rear-view cameras.

One thing is for sure: Expect to pay more for using OE glass in a Mercedes replacement.

Get an Estimate

Onboard Diagnostic Systems

The Mercedes Benz announcement also said that post-collision repair evaluations of model year 1996 vehicles with onboard diagnostics systems “ … should have these systems evaluated using an up-to-date … diagnostics computer.”

So what exactly is an onboard diagnostic system?

Onboard diagnostic systems allow the vehicle owner or repair technician to accurately diagnose any problems your vehicle might be having. The earliest versions were those red dashboard warning lights that would tell you to check your oil or remind you to disengage the emergency brake. Today, onboard diagnostics often involve computer chips and other high-tech touches, which allow the driver or a technician to rapidly identify and remedy malfunctions within the vehicle.

“Post-repair scanning and diagnosis of the vehicle is necessary to ensure that the vehicle’s safety and driver-assist systems are operable and fully functioning,” according to Mercedes Benz statement. “Many of the safety and driver-assist systems that may have been activated during a collision require vehicle calibration, normalization or coding. The post-repair scan will also help to ensure that a comprehensive repair has been performed.”

Mercedes provides a number of examples of when ADAS will need to be recalibrated include:

  • Windshield replacement for vehicles with driver-assist sensors (including rain/light sensors) located in the windshield;
  • Vehicle collisions, regardless of the appearance of damage, and;
  • Removal and/or replacement of exterior components, bumpers, SRS sensors, parking sensors, driver-assist system sensors and cameras, wiring harnesses, vehicle control units, seats or interior trim panels.

Where to Go for Help?

You Mercedes Benz windshield is crucial to your safety, so if you think minimum damage just a minor annoyance, think again. A crack can compromise the strength of your windshield. That means you’re more likely to be injured by glass in the event of an accident. Also, a cracked windshield has the potential to impair your vision, which can be a recipe for disaster on the highway.

Finally, the windshield supports your vehicle in the event of a roll-over incident. If the windshield is damaged, it can compromise the structural integrity of the roof, increasing the risk of injury or death for vehicle occupants.

Cracks can expand in certain weather conditions. Be sure to have a technician check the damage as soon as possible because that simple repair could turn into a replacement.

And while Mercedes Benz strongly recommends that you should only use Mercedes Benz technicians to repair or replace the windshield, remember that other shops can obtain and install OE glass. So if getting your vehicle to a Mercedes dealership is not convenient, know that you have other options.

You can use our auto glass locator service to find a shop today. If you want to find a certified technician who can do the work, search for one on Glass.com.

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36 responses to “Why Did Mercedes Recommend Only its Own Glass for Windshield Replacement?”

  1. I just had my windshield replaced by Mercedes. My GLE 450 replacement cost $1,420.75 total.
    $940 for windshield, $35 glazing adhesive, $400 labor, and $10 for the dumb Mercedes sticker in the lower corner.
    I had two large cracks running up the whole windshield. You could see a difference in light between the pieces.
    Getting it done by dealer was a no brainer. Sensors must be configured. Glass is designed to the car for crash. Aftermarket is a cheap and unsafe way to go for such an expensive car. Makes no sense why you’d buy such a car with safety as one contributing factor for purchase then not put OEM for a part that plays such a major role in keeping you alive in an accident.

  2. We bought a certified pre-owned 2014 MB ML350 in February of this year. After four months, the windshield cracked top to bottom. We used the PermaPlate insurance purchased with the car to replace the glass through Safelite. A month later we got hit by a rock and the windshield split horizontally. We got it replaced and two weeks later got hit by another rock two inches from the previous strike causing an immediate horizontal split. I’m trying to determine if the windshields installed by Safelite truly are equivalent to the MB OEM windshields. They claim to be installing OEM windshields but I cannot reconcile their part number with the MB part number. Any advice or help would be appreciated. By the way, I have not changed my driving habits. I’ve been driving for 44 years and have only had to replace two windshields prior to owning this vehicle.

    • William, I am sorry to hear of your bad luck! As most drivers need a windshield replacement once every eight years, it sounds like you’re making up for lost time.

      As for the windshield itself, a sure-fire way to make sure that OEM glass is being used is to have the replacement done through a Mercedes dealership. It certainly possible for independent installers to obtain OEM parts however and is fairly common practice. Part numbers can be tricky as they don’t always match up the way you think they would. At this point, I would suggest taking your vehicle to a Mercedes dealership and see if they are able to determine whether or not it is a factory part.

      Good luck!

    • I too have a 2014 ML 350 and the windshield cracked all over from the slightest rock chip. I had the special coating installed at purchase so went through them and supposedly, they had Safelight install a certified Mercedes windshield. Before I could even get it to the dealer for calibration, you guessed it, another small rock bounced off it causing an immediate star crack that spread over the entire drivers side. Either Mercedes owners have really bad luck or there is a defect in the glass and tempering Mercedes uses. Time for a class action lawsuit. My 2006 Dodge Ran windshield is 1/3 the price and strong as steel. We are being ripped off.

      • Me too! This has to have something to do with the manufacturing of Mercedes windshields.

        Second week I had my 2017 GLE 400, I got a stone chip in the windshield. I brought it to the dealership and they filled it ….for $85, only to have a vertical crack right up my windshield two months later.

        I was about to bring in to have replaced and you guessed it, another rock hit my windshield and another deep star chip in the centre of my windshield.

        I have been driving for 35 years and I drive all over, highway and city. I have had two stone chips in my windshields in all of 35 years and both cars – one a BMW and the other a Lexus, we’re both able to be filled and I never had to have those windshields replaced.

        Coincidence that we are all having windshield issues with our Mercedes….I think not. I like the idea of a class action suit. I have never been so unhappy with the purchase of a new car as I have been with Mercedes.

  3. I bought a brand new 2014 MB Sprinter Van and in 2 years I am going on my 4th windshield, the fourth one in less than six months of the 3rd. The cracks were caused by the smallest impact, with the 3rd, it was under the wiper blade and very tiny. I am doubting the quality of the windshield that MB is using. Any issues with windshields in the Sprinter Van?

  4. My 2012 Mercedes slk350 got a crack in the windshield. Geico glass coverage paid for an aftermarket replacement through safelite. Can’t see through the windshield when it rains due to blotchy spots. Radio doesn’t get as many stations, wipers and headlights don’t work as they used to. This isn’t “pre accident condition” as per Geico’s claim

  5. My 2016 MB E250 windshield cracked
    I called Mercedes and wanted it replaced . They said they don’t replace windshields. They said go to Saflite. I called Saflite and they don’t use Mercedes windshields.
    How do I get a OM part installed ???

  6. I’m so happy to have a found this thread, as I was beginning to wonder if I just had the worst of luck. My windshield on my 2016 GLE 450 has cracked 4 times! FOUR in a year and a half. I’ve never had another car windshield get cracked, drive as I always have, and this windshield is truly junk! Mercedes has lost a client as I will trade it in after this winter.

  7. I had the same problem on my 2017 Mercedes C300. It was a small rock, I parked my car in the garage, came out, it spread to crack as long as dollar bill quickly. I’ve driven 4 BMW had no problem with it, rocks has come to the glass so many times. Bmw glass is a steel. I’m happy to drive Mercedes brand. It’s soft as a paper. All my friends told me. They thought the MB glassed that installed all models was bad material, and not very good compares to the other car brands. Disappointed so much on Mercedes brand.

  8. I thought it was just me. I’ve had two chips/cracks in my 2014 E350, caused by minute impact. I’ve never had a crack in any other car I’ve owned. The Mercedes dealership charged me $1600.00 to replace it and now my insurance company doesn’t want to pay anything for the replacement because it was so expensive. I live in fear that I’m going to get another crack from a piece of gravel.

  9. Very useful information from all reply’s . My 2012 c300 acquired 2 chips in a week with one reaching over 8 inches over night without moving the car. New glass is on the calendar but I feel this is going to happen again soon. I also have not needed to replace glass even on my 2008 VW with 180,000 miles. Reavaluating brand purchase.

  10. 2009 E320 bluetek, back winow broken. Was replaced with original MB part in some shop. Seams to be ok, defroster woks.
    But since then the sound system and radio are not working. It says DEVICE NOT AVAIABLE. Is it the anty theft feature that prevents the system not to work?(Forced entery)
    MB Service Center claims that the sound system need to be replaced! For $ 1,600.
    Insane!

    • Hi Franz,

      It could be that the battery was unplugged during the replacement, causing the computer’s anti-theft feature or something similar to kick in. According to this MBWorld thread, it is likely related to the satellite radio unit which needs to be reset.

  11. Wow this is really serious. I own a 2014 e350 sport and am on my 3rd chip. Came out this morning and while driving in 85 degree weather with my ac on and a crack appeared right b4 my eyes! The funny thing is the crack started at the bottom where my wiper blades are hidden and rose upward halfway through the windshield dividing the passenger side and driver side. There is no rock that could even get where the crack started. As a matter of fact no rock has even hit on the area of that crack. So it must be ghosts! I have 6 cars. From acura audi bmw and nissan. None have ever cracked or chipped like this car has. In my life i have owned more than 20 vehicles and dont remember getting 3 chips and one ghost crack after only 2 years of ownership. Mb needs to really find a fix for this and quick. Im scarred to pay all this money to have it done again in 2 months! Smh

  12. I am reading these comments regarding Mercedes windshields and I am very concerned. I owned 3 different Lexus over the past 12 years and drove for a living being in sales. In all of my years driving the road everyday I never once had to replace a windshield and believe me I was hit by rocks many times. I bought a certified preowned Mercedes in 2015 and you guessed it the first week I was on the freeway and hit by a rock and my windshield got a star crack. I took it into Mercedes and they were able to patch it for me. A few months later while driving I must have been hit by a rock I didn’t even hear a thing and my windshield is cracked from one end to the other. I thought initially when I got hit the first time that this windshield was flawed and after reading all of the comments on this site now I’m sure of it.

  13. I have a 2004 S430 that I bought in Fla. 3 years ago. On my first drive out of the place where I bought it (I was driving out of state) 4 hours into my drive I noticed a tiny star like chip in windshield. Had spent all my $ on car so had no choice but to leave it alone. That was in July 15’, then in January 16’ with the car sitting in the driveway (now in Nj.) I cleared off snow from it and the windshield was cracked top to bottom across passengers side. Then a year later another crack just while sitting in my driveway started out of nowhere. The car had not been driven in months, so I didn’t hit anything, nothing came and flew into the windshield either. In the time I’ve had this car it’s been hardly driven because of other issues it’s had so after reading all the other comments I really think the Mercedes glass IS defective. I’ve owned numerous cars,vans and trucks and been driving over 40 years and this is the first windshield I’ve ever had this happen to. Now after reading all this I’m afraid to even spend the $$ to replace it. First I can’t afford to do it at the dealer and then if I replace with Safelite which is what I was planning, now from reading previous comments I may have more issues and warnings with this car than I already have. I’m so tired of looking at my dashboard and seeing all the alerts on it. Plus then I have to worry about another crack! It’s ridiculous when I hear their commercials. I guess it’s “not the best or noting” it’s the most expensive!

  14. Does truly seems we are all into some serious Mfg defect. I am also on my 3 windshield on our 2016 GL450. I recall a recent business meeting with Daimler Trucks USA in which they offer as an improvement to fleet operators of their heavy trucks that the windshields were modified by making the outer pane of the safety glass thicker to reduce the break incidents on 2018 and newer heavy truck models. I am thinking that to reduce weight/cost Daimler may had reduce the thickness of their windshields. Thus the high failure rate we are all experiencing. Some mention on this thread class action lawsuit I am not sure but….

  15. i just bought my first MB GLA300 2018 on Friday, driving it home from dealer a very small rock barely hit it and i have a chip on my new car, i have drove Audi. Lexus, GMC and other. had never had a crack or chip. i am reading all these comments and they have me thinking if i made a mistake.

  16. I took my vehicle to Mercedes Benz for a A5 service and on collection of the vehicle on the same afternoon, the windscreen had a large crack. I immediately reported the problem to the gentleman that did the service and he apologized and promised to report the incident the following day to the manager. The manager later informed me that it is nobody’s fault that this happened and it could have also happened while the vehicle was at my residence and basically informed ne that i should report this to my insurance. I disagree with this and feel that the company should replace the windscreen.

  17. Wow.
    I have a 2000, S500 and I noticed a couple of pings, but nothing serious.
    Last week a hit happened and the crack is the size of an incomplete silver dollar in the center of the windshield.
    Any advice?

  18. My 2015 S550 is at the dealer while under warranty – the windshield had minor pitting from normal driving until yesterday when it cracked while parked outside- I believe the glass is defective- mb is giving me a very hard time accepting responsibility. I have not reported it to the insurance company yet but this thread shows me I will have to.

  19. A rock cracked the windshield on my 2014 GL450. Mercedes dealer doesn’t bill directly to GEICO and windshields are not covered by MB warranty.

    GEICO (via Safelite) will pay a total of $288 for $1439 for OEM glass. The GIECO agent said they only reimburse for OEM glass if its within the first two years of manufacture date. Even though Mercedes requires OEM glass for their warning systems to operate properly.

    Now for the best news of all. My extended warranty expires at the end of the year. My Mercedes dealer quoted me $25,000 for a 4 year/48,000 mile warranty. That’s outrageous.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that Mercedes Benz cars and SUVs are designed to be disposed of after about 8 years. There are very few Mercedes for sale that are over 8 years old. Years ago Mercedes were know for their engineering. Not anymore. MB dealer recently quoted $525 to replace the fuel filter! Good engineers would not design a vehicle that would require hours of labor to replace a fuel filter. This is outrageous.

    Here’s another example, the motor mounts went out on our 2012 E350 at 41,000 miles. So I google it and sure enough a bunch of E350 owners have the same problem. The auto industry hasn’t had problems with motor mounts wearing out for decades. What is wrong with MB designers?

    Mercedes has lost its direction. Once more people see how their pricing/warranty model is just a scam to force people to upgrade to new vehicles their entire business model will end.

    Its too bad, the cars are nice to drive but its not worth getting ripped off.

  20. I own a 2017 MB Metris cargo van. 6 months later with only 25,000 KM, a stone hit the windshield on the highway and caused a crack across the windshield half way across. Ok that was just bad luck I thought.
    Just today July 09,18. Working on a site with the car siting on driveway, I come out and find a large crack from the passenger side from top to bottom that curves?? How can this be? At less than 50,000km with 2 cracks, I thought that there must be something wrong with these cheap windshields and found this blog describing a familiar theme. Never had this problem with Honda or Toyota. I would usually have 1 to 2 cracked windshield within 500,000 to 800,000km due to a lot of driving and not to the extent of how the cracks become so large. This is absolutely ridiculous for a high end car that is build like a piece of crap tin can!!

  21. I have a 2013 glk. I am on my 4th windshield. It has 2 big crazy ks and about 6 chips. These are from small rock dings. After all of these post, surely Mercedes has to know there is a defect in their windshields. What recourse should we take to get better safer windshields?

  22. I have a 2018 cla250 i have had this car for 1 month and 2 weeks after I had my car a rock hit my windshield and caused a peck i called safelite they patched the peck
    2 weeks later i recieved another peck but this one split so disappointed i have driven a hyundia for 10 years and never had this problem with windshield issue. Paying as much money for a mb and have this much issue with cheep windshield is crazy.

  23. I have a E400 2017 mercedes. I had my car detailed in 2016 and when I got the car back, I noticed what looked like smudges on my windows. I said something to the service person and he proceeded to try and get what looked like smudges off the windows. There were other things that went wrong with the inside of my car but the main point I want to talk about is the windshields. I thought the smudges were gone but when I left out of the garage the sunlight showed the smudges were not gone so I called back after I left and told them about and scheduled another appointment. When I returned to fix the problem, the service person tried again. He then called out his manager who got on the inside of my car and said the thousands of specs that you see in the windshield will never come off. He said the only thing you can do is let us replace the windshield. I told him that is what I wanted. he told me he would order a windshield and when it comes in he will have the service person to contact me to bring the car in and they would have a loaner for me. I waited and waited for the call that I never got and when I tried called and left several messages, I received not return calls. I escalated the issue because these thousands of specs on my windshield are blinding when driving at a certain angle when the sun hits them and actually momentarily blinds you while driving which is a very frightening experience. I try to only drive the car when it is a cloudy or looks like an overcast day. When the sun is out, I am on pins and needles. I had 6 different auto and glass companies that don’t know each other to look at the specs all over the windshield and they told me to take the car back to the dealer because they had never seen anything like it and there are no indications from the looks of the car that anything hit the car or debris hit the car. It seems to be between the glass. You can even see these glittering specs on the side windows too. Merceds Benz Dealer reginonal manager said that the defects in the windshield were caused by pebbles in the road while I was driving. and stated that my headlights and portions of my hood paint had the same nicks that my windshield had in it.. He used this as support for his statement that the thousands of sparkles in my windshield were caused by the same thing that he said caused thousands of nicks in my windshield. No one saw any nicks on headlights and hood and this is the first thing they looked at after seeing my windshield to see if their were any nicks on my hood and there were not. This is why the 6 people who saw it could not understand what caused it and told me to take it back to the dealer. Now you know what mercedes benz is saying. Any information or experts on manufacturers defects who will inspect this and be willing to testify about this matter. If you have any info on what I can do about this, let me know. Also let me know if I am the only one with this problem and if not, what did you do about it and did you get a resolve in the matter? Thanks.

  24. This is very strange, but my Mercedes just got a crack that spread fast after a rock hit it in the highway. My friend told me she has replaced the windshield in her Mercedes at least three times in two year. This has to be faulty product!

  25. I feel so discouraged after reading all the problems with MB windshields. I have a 2015 GLA250, and the same problem that everyone else is experiencing. A rock hit my windshield a few days ago, and I watched the crack expand before my very eyes. I am now afraid to have it repaired because of what others have encountered.

    If anyone decide to file a class action, count me in. I believe the quality of Mercedes have dropped tremendously over the years. I have 62,000miles on my car, and have experienced more problems with this vehicle than any other car in the history of cars I purchases over a period of 57 years.

  26. Just purchased a 2018 GLE 350 on Friday 8-31. Today is 9-4 and I already have 2 racks in my windshield. Mind you, I turned in a 2016 GLE For this new one. There were several cracks in that window but I chalked it up highway driving. I’m starting to think these are thin faulty windshields that will chip with the slightest pebble. That’s why they push that windshield repair plan when they sell you the vehicle.

  27. We recently bought a 2006 Sportsmobile Sprinter Van with a Mercedes Engine. It had a small crack in the windshield that is now larger. We have also gotten small dings in the glass since we’ve owned it, from the smallest of rocks. I am surely seeing the pattern in the stories above, but what does everyone recommend? If not Mercedes glass… just any after market glass?
    Thank you

  28. My Mercedes automatic wipers never worked properly (much too fast for current condition), until I had a non oem windshield installed. Now they finally work perfectly!

  29. I’ve owned 4 Mercedes and this is the first crack of any size I have gotten. Currently I own a 2016 GLE350 and a 2015 C300. The C300 has a crack about 3 inches long. That car mostly sits in the driveway so I was surprise to see the crack. I figure it was from an acorn that fell on it. I’ve seen many comment that they are paying over a $1000 to replace at the dealer, they are charging me $783. The windshield has the rain sensors. I expected them to tell me $2000, so I was happy when I found it wasn’t. I don’t know if Mercedes put crappy windshields or not but out of 4 I’ve owned, this is the first time.

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