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New Windshield Breaks (Again) After Installation

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The Case of the Windshield that Keeps Cracking

Question:

Hello Glass Detective,

My windshield was replaced through an insurance claim on Thursday. I noticed yesterday (the following Tuesday) there is a crack at the same spot as the old one- right behind the rear view mirror. I’m afraid the company that handled the replacement will claim it is not an installation or manufacturer defect because there is a chip along the crack. Is it possible the crack caused the chip? Should I have been asked if I wanted OEM glass? I feel as though, after having cars for 20 years and never needing a windshield, and then suddenly needing one right after it was replaced, the glass they are using is inferior.

Thank you.

Nicole
Wilmington, DE

Answer:

Nicole,

Thank you for making contact with the Glass Detective regarding your windshield problem. Specifically, after your windshield was replaced, you found the new windshield was broken again in the same place that it was broken before. The time-lapse between the time the original windshield was replaced and the replacement windshield was found broken was approximately five days. You ask excellent questions regarding all of this and I will do my best to answer them. Although, not having seen the exact break of the first or second windshield puts me at a bit of a disadvantage.

First, it is very possible that the two breaks were not related in any way other than that it was the same windshield that was broken (twice). I have been involved in situations where this has occurred. One was a vandalism situation and the other was assumed to just have been a naturally occurring event (fate if you will).

Secondly, chips in windshields often become cracks if they are not fixed. Your comments tend to make me think the crack came first. Additionally, I want to be very clear in saying that the installation and the glass used may have been absolutely fine. It may just have been “one of those things” that sometimes happens.

windshield-crack-spread

As for your question about OEM glass, either an OEM or aftermarket product could have been used. If aftermarket glass, there is nothing indicating the quality of the glass. OEM glass is preferable.

I don’t know who performed your windshield replacement although I am going to hope it was an Auto Glass Safety Council™ (AGSC) member because the members of the AGSC use certified (trained and tested) technicians who use and support proper installation procedures and techniques.

In conclusion, my recommendation is that you make contact with the company that replaced the windshield and discuss your questions and concerns with them while asking them to inspect the windshield to see if they have any ideas as to how the replacement windshield broke. I am going to hope that you and the company involved can reach some conclusions together and work out an acceptable arrangement for yet another windshield.

Thank you again for contacting the Glass.com Glass Detective with your questions and I hope this information is of some value to you.

Please note, this article may contain links to Amazon products. As an Amazon Associate, Glass.com earns from qualifying purchases.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lyle Hill

Lyle Hill has been in the glass and metal industry for more than 40 years. In this time he has managed glass retail, contract glazing, mirror, architectural window, window film, and automotive glass businesses throughout America. He obtained an MBA from IIT with a focus on Technology and Engineering Management. Hill is also a columnist for glass industry trade magazines and often called the “face” of the glass industry. He has also authored books including “The Broken Tomato and Other Business Parables,” which is available through Amazon. Find out more about Lyle on Linkedin.

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4 Responses

  1. I had a windshield replaced due to a chip. The next day I noticed a crack nowhere near where the chip had been. They replaced it with another new windshield and I didn’t even make it home from the shop and the windshield cracked again. They won’t do another replacement
    What can I do?

    1. Hi Paula,
      We’re sorry to hear of the windshield problems you’ve been experiencing. If there is no sign of impact where the crack is, and it’s originating from an outside edge (along the top, bottom, left, or right side of the windshield), this may be an indicator that the installation wasn’t performed properly, or that there is a different underlying issue. If there is any damage to the frame that the windshield sits in (referred to as the pinchweld), including dents and rust, it leads to a poor mounting surface for the windshield. Issues such as these need to be remedied by a body shop prior to the windshield being replaced.
      Do your best to work out the problem with the company that performed the installation. For any future replacements, you may wish to use the Auto Glass Safety Council as a resource. They have a list of registered shops that are held to certain standards and are therefore considered highly reputable.

  2. I had a new windscreen fitted in 2021. I was adjusting my rear-view mirror (between finger and thumb) two weeks ago after my wife had been driving the car and the rear-view mirror fell off the windscreen. On closer inspection it transpired that the mirror had actually pulled a circle of glass from the inside of the windscreen where it was bonded. There was a “lifetime warranty” on the windscreen, but they refused to honour it, saying that the fault was not theirs.
    I have heard that the adhesive used to attach the rear-view mirror to the windscreen actually weakens the glass. Is there any truth in this?
    You might guess that I am extremely unhappy with the company concerned.
    I needed the repair doing or I would have driven off and employed a solicitor to question their ethics.
    Am I right?

  3. I have a 2023 Kia Sorento. While sitting at a stop light my granddaughter placed her foot lightly against the glass. It shattered into a lage fireworks shape. The dealer said that if it was defective the crack had to start at the bottom of the windshield. We were sitting at a red light when it happened. We didn’t have a prior crack. How do we find out the truth?

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