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OEM vs. Aftermarket Windshield Glass: What You Need to Know

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When your windshield cracks and you need a replacement, there are two types of windshield glass available to you—OEM and aftermarket glass. Which of these options is best for you?

This article is going to cause some controversy within the ranks of those who do auto glass manufacturing as well as those who do auto glass replacements. Indeed, in some circles, this is a very sensitive issue. So, I am going to start with a true story which I hope helps shape what I will ultimately say about this subject.

In February of 2000 I bought a brand new Corvette—what would be classified as a C-5 series. For 50 years I had dreamed of owning a Corvette, and when I finally had saved enough money to buy one, I did so. It was gorgeous. A triple black convertible with a six-speed manual transmission. Reportedly it would do 160 miles an hour…I got it up to 130 and while it had the ability to go faster, I didn’t. When I sold it in 2015, it had a little over 18,000 miles on it and had never been driven in the rain or snow and never came out of the garage except to be washed or driven. A tear trickled down my left cheek when I turned it over to its new owner. I have a “thing” for cars and I would have never thought of using anything but an original GM Corvette part for my Vette.

One afternoon I was at a social gathering and one of the guys there said he had just bought a new Pontiac and that he really loved how quick it was. He went on to state that the quickness and speed it had was because it had a Corvette engine in it. I was a bit offended and quickly said that unless the engine is in an actual Corvette, it is not a Corvette engine. It is a Pontiac engine perhaps made in the same manner with maybe the same engine characteristics of a Corvette engine but unless it was in a Corvette, it was not a Corvette engine. Several of the people at this gathering were car enthusiasts and a debate soon broke out and I was amazed at how passionate some people were about this subject. By the way, I still think I was right but some others did not. Operations Manager, Daniel Snow, talks with industry expert Bob Beranek


OEM Auto Glass

OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. OEM auto glass is fabricated by the same manufacturer that provided the original glass the automaker placed in your vehicle. In essence, you should be getting an almost identical windshield to the factory auto glass your vehicle came with when it rolled off the assembly line. OEM glass also has special automaker branding on it.

In this country today, there are thousands of auto parts being sold every day that were made overseas (or maybe even domestically) that claim to be equal to the OEM part they are replacing. In some cases, maybe they are. In some cases, they are not equal to that OEM part that came on the vehicle when it was driven off the assembly line. To some people, based on price and availability, it probably doesn’t matter a whole lot. But in other cases, it matters a great deal! We have heard some horror stories about what are often referred to as “knock-off” parts.

Manufacturing OEM Auto Glass

If a glass manufacturer gets an order for 25,000 windshields for a particular vehicle, they might decide to run an extra 5,000 windshields (if allowed to do so based on the agreement they have in place with the auto manufacturer) because they know that ultimately they can sell these extras for replacement purposes. They also know that once they are set up to run a given part it is a whole lot cheaper to run a bunch of extra stock parts during the initial run than to set up again for a second run. So are those “extra” windshields they ran are considered OEM parts. If the original manufacturer runs that windshield a year later it would also likely be considered an OEM part as long as it is produced in every detail using the original manufacturing process and machinery. Conversely, if another company also runs that same part to be sold to auto glass wholesalers and replacement shops, that part (no matter how well it is manufactured) is a non-OEM part.  Insurance policies vary on what they must pay to replace, so you may want to check if yours covers OEM glass.

Aftermarket Auto Glass

Aftermarket auto parts are made by a company other than the original equipment manufacturer. Or by the same OEM company on a different production line. Some of these parts are similar quality to OEM parts. Others are not. If you’re paying for your glass replacement out-of-pocket, aftermarket auto glass could be the cheaper option.

However, there is a debate in the auto glass industry as to whether aftermarket glass is of the same quality as OEM glass.

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Is There a Difference Between OEM and Aftermarket Glass?

The Debate: OEM vs. Aftermarket Windshields

Several years ago, Consumer Reports cautioned consumers not to let insurance company pressure you into using aftermarket collision repair body parts, especially safety-related parts. With your windshield supporting the structural integrity of your vehicle, particularly in a rollover situation, the windshield is definitely a safety-related part.

Some purists might say that unless the part went into the vehicle on the assembly line, it cannot be an OEM part because anything that comes after the original part installation is an aftermarket part. Others would say that as long as the part being used for the replacement was made by the same company that made the original part, it is indeed an OEM part. Others go further and say the replacement part would need to be made by the same manufacturer, to exactly the same specs on the very same production line at the same time OE glass parts were being made to be considered equivalent.

The real question: Is an OEM windshield safer than an aftermarket windshield? There is no general consensus in the auto glass industry. You need to speak with educated auto glass personnel who can discuss the options available for you. They can help you make the best choice for your vehicle because, for some vehicles, an aftermarket windshield will work just fine while other vehicle manufacturers recommend only using OEM windshields.

To find a knowledgeable windshield glass company, visit and enter your ZIP code. In a few easy steps, you can have a customer service representative on the line. He or she can also conference call in your insurance representative to see what type of part your insurance coverage covers for a replacement. Never make a decision without consulting both an auto glass company representative and your insurer.



windshield, backlite, flush-mount, auto glass

Aftermarket Windshields Can be Just as Good as OEM

Just for the record, many non-OEM parts are every bit as good as an OEM part. One term has become prevalent and promoted by some is the term OEE. This stands for “Original Equipment Equivalent”. This term makes some sense to me but then it becomes a question of “equivalent” to what standard. Who determines if the part is truly equivalent? There is no clear answer. There are poor imitations that should not consider for use in a vehicle. Deal with reputable suppliers and people you can trust.


Pros and Cons of OEM Windshields:

  • Pro: Quality standards set forth by auto manufacturer are met
  • Con: Generally more costly than aftermarket windshields
  • Pro: Fit, finish, and safety should be the same quality as when your car originally rolled off the manufacturing line
  • Con: Insurance may not cover the complete cost of the OEM part

Pros and Cons of Aftermarket Windshields:

  • Pro: Meets or exceeds minimum safety standards set forth by the Department of Transportation
  • Con: No quality standards
  • Pro: Generally less expensive than OEM glass
  • Con: Numerous manufacturers recommend only replacing with OEM glass due to ADAS features


 Some Manufacturers Require OE Glass in Windshield Glass Replacements


Honda Requires OEM Glass in Some Cases

For many years, those in the auto industry were tight-lipped regarding the safety of OEM glass versus aftermarket glass. However, the advent of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems has resulted in big shift. Many automakers are now requiring or recommending that windshields with cameras or sensors located on them be replaced with OEM glass when broken.

One prominent example is Honda.

“While non-OEM parts may look the same and fit in the same physical space on the vehicle, their use may present unforeseen circumstances causing the driver assist or other safety systems to operate abnormally or not at all,” according to a statement by Honda.

Many of Honda’s newer models feature one or more of the following systems: Adaptive Cruise Control, Collision Mitigation Braking System, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assist System and Road Departure Mitigation.

These systems use either a camera or a combination of a camera and radar. Replacing a Honda windshield on newer models with anything other than OEM parts might result in errors, according to Honda’s statement.

Not just windshields are affected by the new technology. Honda’s 2014 RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD requires OE side glass.

“The model listed above uses acoustic front side door glass for sound isolation on some trim levels,” according to the automaker’s statement. They claim using anything other than OE glass could diminish the effects of the acoustic glass and crease cabin noise.


Mercedes-Benz USA has also announced that it strongly recommends using OEM glass for windshield replacements.

The automaker’s position statement says, “Aftermarket glass often does not account for complex electrical components [involved in ADAS] and may interfere with your vehicle’s electronic systems, or cause these electronic systems to not function properly.”



Subaru has joined the list of automakers that are now supporting OEM glass usage in replacements. The automaker strongly recommends this glass be used on models that are equipped with the EyeSight Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS).

The EyeSight system includes adaptive cruise control, automatic pre-collision braking, as well as lane departure and sway warning. It also features lane-keep assist function, blind spot detection, and rear cross traffic alert.

“Always use Subaru genuine windshield glass specifically designed for EyeSight,” reads a notice placed on windshields for new models equipped with EyeSight. “If windshield glass other than glass specifically designed for EyeSight is used, the visibility of the camera can be blocked or the distortion of the glass can prevent the correct measurement of an object resulting in abnormal EyeSight operation.”

An auto glass replacement technician recently discovered this on a Subaru vehicle.


OEM glass should be used for windshield glass replacements due to the complex technology now available in vehicles, particularly on the windshield, says Nissan.

Automotive glass plays an important role in vehicle safety by providing structural rigidity, ocular clarity and “integration with advanced vehicle technology,” according to Nissan’s statement.


 Glass Fabricators

The companies that fabricate OEM and aftermarket glass, some who provide products to both markets, are cautious in taking a stand.

There is a wide separation between OEM and aftermarket parts, according to a Chevrolet glass engineer.

“Some are very good and some are not very good,” he said referring to aftermarket products. “OEM, to me, sets a very different standard on the parts. I cannot control the aftermarket so I cannot say whether it meets OE standards.”

Another industry veteran, Russ Corsi, who worked with PPG, a manufacturer and fabricator of auto glass, for many years, notes that OEM products typically have very strict inspection criteria and very tight tolerances.

“So you can make an aftermarket product, but it won’t necessarily meet the original-equipment specifications,” he says.

Corsi also pointed out that some large glass manufacturers make both OEM and aftermarket products, so they have more tools in the arsenal for their products to be quite similar across both markets.

Your Type of Vehicle

If you drive a vehicle equipped with ADAS features such as automatic braking and lane departure warning, it may be wise to consider OEM glass. This will help ensure the sensors and cameras related to these systems have a clear view of the road which will allow these systems to function properly. However, if you drive an older model with less technology embedded in the glass, then aftermarket glass may work well for you.

Ensure you educate yourself by talking with an experienced technician and your insurance agent before making the decision on what type of glass to use.

Video Transcription

Hi, we are here with Bob Beranek and he is an expert in the auto glass industry and we’re here to ask him some questions.
One question that we’ve received a lot is the difference between OEM (original equipment manufacturer) and aftermarket windshields. A lot of customers suspect that the glass company may have
tried to cheat them and instead of receiving original equipment they’ve actually received a lesser quality aftermarket windshield.
Are there actual differences in quality between the two? And are there certain ways to tell whether they’ve received a different windshield than what they were promised?

That is a loaded question, Daniel, I’ll tell you that right away. There are differences. Not on the safety end. The glass must meet certain rigors before it can even be sold in the United States. The best way the customer can make sure that’s the case is to look on the monogram of the glass for the DOT number.
However, there are differences, especially now with the ADAS systems- the Advanced Driver Assist Systems- where the glass clarity is absolutely imperative to make sure everything works properly.
OE stands for Original Equipment. That’s the glass that came in the car when it was assembled at the plant.
OEM is glass that was made by the same manufacturer. That’s what OEM means- Original Equipment Manufacturer.
OEE means it’s original equipment manufactured that also makes glass for a different vehicle.
So what’s offered by most reputable glass companies is a variety of different types. Is it an OE glass, OEM glass, OEE glass, or is it an ARG (Aftermarket Replacement Glass) glass? And that’s the price points as well.

So, there are differences. The differences can make the difference between whether a vehicle can be recalibrated or not. It may be that it will look the same and fit the same, and there will be less likelihood of air leaks or water leaks. It might be the difference between a perfectly optically clear glass or one that has a slight distortion on the passengers side, or something similar.

Ok, so it sounds like no matter what option the consumer goes with, they can rest assured that it does pass those standards that are set in place, as long as it has that DOT number on it. But also, on the other hand, it sounds like they should opt for the OEM when possible. Especially if their vehicle is equipped with ADAS.

Especially when ADAS is a portion of that, yes.

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



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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48 Responses

  1. I just purchased new chevrolet impala and truck threw rock into my windshield with less than 1000 miles on car. I definitely want OEM REPLACEMENT! State Farm wants to pay for aftermarket, which would probably be substandard to my original windshield.

    1. Most insurance companies require a purchased endorsement to replace damages parts with OEM. Sometimes they will offer LKQ, or refurbished, OEM parts, but it is not uncommon for your insurance policy to only cover aftermarket replacements, regardless of the age of your vehicle. The coverage is there, but you will likely have to pay for it. This doesn’t apply only to State Farm, either. That’s pretty much across the board, unless you can afford a policy from Lloyds of London or some other premium company.

  2. I didn’t know that I’d have to ask for an OEM windshield for my 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee.
    When I got to Safelite to install it they told me it was an aftermarket item.
    And that if I wanted an OEM I would have to contact my Allstate provider and they said that the only difference is it’s cheaper. And if i wanted, they would have to check to see if would be approved. So i told them to go ahead and.install it.
    I knew something was wrong, so I asked Safelite and they said the same. Than I looked it up on the Internet, from which I got a completely different answer. Saying it wasn’t as thick. Now I have my worries about the fact that my insurance doesn’t care about me and my passenger’s safety. ANY WAY it’s a money.thing.
    So now I don’t have the safe feeling anymore. About the fact that the windshield is a part of the safety features of my Jeep.
    So now.what ? HahahahHah

    1. Having a similar issue with safelite. My 2015 Jeep Cherokee had a crack along the entire front of the windshield. I’ve owned it for 2 months and so of course I wanted OEM glass but was never given an option. Customer service assured me with the VIN they’d install the correct one. Again never asking if I wanted aftermarket or OEM. Called customer service got a terrible rep she treated me like I was inconveniencing her by asking questions like why wasn’t I given the option? I’m paying with warranty 25000 for this car. If I wanted a s***ty windshield I would’ve kept the cracked one. For starters I lost my Willy’s logo which is frivolous but I loved it. It seems like this windshield lets more light and sound in as well. Contacted safelite again today after I was assured someone would call me first thing yesterday. I paid out of pocket for this an am extremely p**sed.

  3. I have a scratch about a dollar’s length in my GMC Terrain.
    It looks like something was under the wiper that made the scratch.
    I only see it when driving in direct sun light so I don’t see it all the time.
    I don’t know if I should replace the windshield with an after market window?
    My insurance will only pay for after market @ $415.00 compared to OEM @ $709.00.
    I’m wondering if I should even get the windshield replaced? If it is only a scratch will
    it get worse?

    1. Great question! If the scratch occurred under the driver’s side wiper blade and it affects your view of the road, then this is a safety concern which should be addressed. It is unlikely that the scratch will turn into anything worse, like a crack, but it could become more pronounced over time. The best option would be to consult with a local auto glass professional who can evaluate the damage in person.

  4. I have found you HAVE TO ASK for OEM glass with your insurer right away when you make the claim with them. My son enlightened me to this years ago. They have never refused paying for OEM with us.

  5. I am a windshield installer in Canada working for a local company. Our market it seems is getting seriously impacted by large aftermarket sellers that produce windshields that are not meeting OEM standards. I am educated that windshields are very vital to the structure and safety of the vehicle it occupies. The company I work for refuses to put “less” safe glass, or mis-fitting glass in our customers vehicles. As such, we have lost a lot of business because the cheaper manufactures that don’t meet the OEM standards have generally the most sales because they offer a discounted glass easier on the consumer’s pocket book. The company I work for takes a standard 10% on what we pay for the glass, and maybe add another 5-10% if more time is needed to repair the glass. Some cars are different and take more time to repair. Where I’m from, standard auto glass isn’t paid by insurance, but by the customer. We simply can’t compete and still keep our customers the as safe as can be. Are there any laws on glass and lamination thickness? What can we do to not sell out to the cheaper manufactures?

    1. Unfortunately this is an issue that many auto glass companies are facing. I can’t speak to Canada’s laws, but here in the states we have federal regulations that require windshields to be made with laminated AS1 glass, which much pass certain impact tests and also appear stamped on the windshield (Read more about bugs here).

      Many consumers simply aren’t educated on the fact that there can be varying degrees of quality when it comes to windshields- which is especially important when it comes to newer vehicles equipped with Advanced Driver Assistance (ADAS) features. As I;m sure you know, cameras and sensors mounted to the windshields in these vehicles are extremely sensitive and if the mounting point were off or the glass were distorted, it could cause the system to malfunction. We hope that by publishing blog articles like this one, consumers will make more educated decisions and choose the safest option, not just the cheapest option.

  6. Had a cracked windshield in a Mazda CX-5 that has the lane departure cameras. Safelite put in an aftermarket windshield that had a pop bottle bottom size distortion right in front of the drivers side. The next trip they installed a second after market windshield which apparently is not close enough in specification to allow the safety cameras to be calibrated. So now they are installing a third windshield that is oem. I had no idea the first two were after market until I asked about the quality control. While sitting to get the 3rd windshield in two other customers were in for 2nd replacements due to distortions. If possible I would avoid after market glass, it has cost me a ton of time and gas.

    1. Hi, I would like to know if OEM glass was covered by your insurance. I have CX-5 too and mine has a crack on the windshield. Not sure how I want to go about this as I don’t want the glass to break and damage my interiors.

  7. On March 8, 2018 I paid Safelite, 2480 30th Boulder 80301 $397.36 (including tax) to replace the rear window of my 2012 Subaru Forrester after the original window was shattered during a windstorm..

    We noticed that the window didn’t quite fit, and there is no mongram to identify the manufacturer.

    The replacement window spontaneously shattered March 24, 2018 while my wife was driving 20 mph (the speed limit) on 9th St in Boulder between Mapleton Hill and Pearl Street.

    I believe the glass is of inferior quality. Its noticeably thinner than OEM.

  8. I’m in the middle of getting my 2013 Santa Fe Sport windshield replaced. My insurance is through Nationwide and requires OEM glass. However safelite couldn’t install the glass because they said the connection for the wiper heating element was on the wrong side. Doesn’t sound kosher to me if it was OEM. After several more weeks waiting, I’ve went to Kryger Glass, a Midwest company. The’re waiting for the OEM but said they could have an aftermarket windshield tomorrow. At first I thought okay, but after finding this site and the reviews, I’ll probably just wait.

  9. Just bought a GMC CAYNON, the sales men came to my work to pick her up,he brought my truck back had a chip in windshield, I was upset they told me to call my insurance, I did,but they wanted charge me my deductible for OEM, fighting with dealership, because I received my truck back damage, they should cover ,what do I do if they refuse to pay my deductible?

    1. Hi Candie,

      Thanks for the question and sorry to hear about the situation you are in. Is the chip repairable? Sometimes it can be better (and cheaper) to repair a chip rather than replace the windshield if your vehicle is still equipped with the original factory windshield. So that may be another option.
      Unfortunately, insurance companies do not always cover the entire cost of an OEM replacement. You’ll have to refer to your insurance policy documents and consult with your insurer to see if there are any other options. Hopefully you are able to work out something with the dealership.

  10. I just had my windshield replaced on my 2010 Mazda 3 hatchback.
    It seems to me the reflection from the dash against the windshield is worse than than with the original windshield. Especially noticeable in certain light conditions, causing me significant eye strain trying to see through the imposed reflection. Is this a known problem?

  11. Is Veltrio glass any good? The company I been using the last few times always installed Pilkington glass but this time around they installed Veltrio glass.

  12. All auto glass laminated or tempered must conform to ansi z26.1 standards. This standard requirement is for oem and aftermarket glass manufactures.

    1. Hi Jerome, the easiest way to receive quotes is to go to and type in your zip code and vehicle information.

  13. I had the windshield in my 13’ Ford Escape crack at the rear view mirror in 2015 and I told my insurance company (Allstate) the I wanted OEM glass as a replacement. They were very accommodating as to having an OEM windshield installed. They could not have been more helpful. I always request OEM parts for my repairs. You get what you pay for.

  14. Had safelite replace the windshield in my 2016 Tundra with one made by Fuyao. Clarity is horrible when driving toward the sun and especially at night with oncoming LED headlights. There are internal stress lines or something that light up and it becomes very annoying. The dimensions are not the same either. Left to right it is narrower to the point the molding will lie flat down inside instead of the u-shape pressed in fit from before and the top of the windshield is now has a wider gap from the roof line to the top of the glass than OEM. We need legislation on this. If they are going to claim OEE, then it should meet OEM’s quality and design exactly. Close enough doesn’t cut it on things like this, especially when you consider how much you spend on the vehicle to begin with now, and how much insurance costs now.

  15. As a follow up. I ended up having Safelite install the OEM windshield and paying the extra out of pocket which was another $630. Just like the OEM windshield, the size of the window is noticeably wider with about a 1/6-1/4″ gap along the sides and very close along the top edge. This one fits exactly as the original. The other thing I noticed was that the heating element where the wiper blades reside is made different, but I won’t know how well that functions until the next snow or ice storm we get. I’ve called many insurance companies to find out, at a minimum if I can just pay the difference between the two OEE vs. OEM and you cannot nail those companies down to a concrete answer. They don’t want to pay for your safety. My truck has airbags in the pillars that push against the windshield in a wreck. It is PART OF THE AIRBAG’s OVERALL EFFECTIVENESS! That aftermarket glass was obviously thinner and there is no way it could function the same way in a wreck as the OEM glass will. I’m writing my legislatures and requesting a bill be introduced concerning OEE parts wherever the part can affect the operation of safety equipment and that the OEE must prove itself before the insurance companies are allowed to force this type of coverage. This is just wrong. On a side note, my wife’s Nissan Xterra had a spot of rust that started under the back window and was taken care of by the dealer, but they called safelite and they installed a window with the name CARLEX on it. It fits the same all the way around except it is sitting on the body along the bottom edge. After reading one of the above comments about a rear window shattering, I think this is probably why. The OEM window had a good 3/8″ gap all around. This stuff is unacceptable. You are paying for you insurance company to insure the vehicle you bought. Not to turn it into some cheaper version of itself with junk aftermarket parts. Would love to see some legislation on this.

  16. I got a aftermarket windshield for Camry 2011 for $150 installed looked good but in a month small crack developed on drivers side edge.

  17. I’m not getting all the Insurance problems being posted in here, not at all !! You have a deductible of &XXX amount of dollars ($300-$2000), depending on your choice of deductible to lower/raise your bottom line insurance premium!! Mine is $500…When I make a claim, I pay the first five hundred bucks of the quoted cost and the Insurance picks up the remaining amount. If my claim is too be less then $500 quoted to me by a windshield installer, then there is no sense to make a claim is there ? It’s that simple !!!

  18. We had a Fuyuo windshield installed in our 2017 Toyota Rav4. The optical distortion at the bottom of the windshield was extreme. Installer ordered replacement, but it was the same. We have arranged for OEM windshield.

  19. I have a 2015 c300 being repaired at the shop my front and rear windshield is being replaced geico is using aftermarket glass oee will this affect the operation of my car?

    1. Hi Lionel,

      You may find this other blog helpful in answering your question:

  20. Had a huge rock crack my windshield last summer. Replaced by Safelite. Recently had a tiny rock hit the windshield. It immediately cracked across half the windshield. Obviously low quality replacement. They are coming to replace the windshield today and I will be asking about the quality. Didn’t think about OEM until I saw this. Insurance replaces once a year at no cost but quality in in question.

  21. I have a Ford Escape. Two months ago I replaced the windshield through SafeL*** and today a tiny rock, barely making any noise, left a 12” crack in the windshield. The noise was so minor that we could not believe that it cracked the windshield. I really feel that the SafeL*** glass was inferior to the OEM and I got screwed. I thought I was saving money but I probably got a thinner thickness glass that is more prone to cracking from rocks and debris. Also, after glass install road noise from area was considerably louder at highway speeds.

  22. Two weeks ago I had the windshield in my 2009 Hyundai Genesis replaced…ten years old, and many accumulated nicks over the many years of freeway driving; it finally cracked. I used a local glass company, and had no idea I should ask for OEM. Yesterday, a tiny rock hit my windshield, and it immediately cracked. The crack keeps growing; it’s now halfway across the windshield. Obviously, I received an inferior product. I’m hoping to receive at least a partial credit for what I paid, but I’m not really expecting it. Live and learn.

  23. I had progressive with my car. 2018 Camry. Living here in rock heaven-Tempe. 3 months into driving I had to have it replaced. Which they did with oem. The. 9 months later I had to have a 2nd windshield. This time they only qualified an aftermarket. When the aftermarket failed to pass calibration, progressive had to pay for oem. And a 2nd calibration. A week later I was cancelled by progressive. Great company huh!!!

  24. What is the average range in additional cost for OEM compared to OEE and compared to Replacement after market glass as a percentage.

    1. We have read reports of 25-50% additional cost for OEM. Some companies use a rule of thumb that OEM glass costs approximately $100 more than aftermarket glass on average.

  25. I just brought a brand new Audi off the lot. My husband work in the auto glass industry and he noticed the windshield was not an OEM. Is this something normal or is this a problem I should address with the dealership

    1. Hi Natisha,
      This is something you should address with the dealership if you believe it is an issue.

  26. I have 99 Cherokee. When the windshield cracked I replaced with aftermarket. I’ve gone through 3 in the 10 yrs I’ve owned and due for another. (150k miles) It is neither broken or cracked but pitted. It seems the glass is “softer” than any other windshield. The others were also pitted, in addition to being cracked or broken Can this be possible? I live in Puerto Rico (east coast) and we get a great deal of “Sahara Dust” depending on the season. I must clean the screens every 6 weeks or so. Never had to do that in NE Ohio or Long Island, NY. There only in the fall when we took them down.

  27. my experience with windshield replacement had a one in a million outcome. the episode happened in 1991 when I had my wife take our 1986 olds ciera to a shop off 58th ave in denver. We left the car over night thursday afternoon and were called late friday afternoon that the car was finished. I got off work
    but due to heavy friday traffic I didn’t make it by closing. I came up from castle rock about 7am saturday morning and picked up my car. when my wife and I got home we followed all the instructions the installers information sheet listed. We did notice a large amount of blue tape all the way around the windshield but the tape came off easily and did not damage the paint. The heavy rain arrived sunday but the windshield performed flawlessly. no leaks. All my co-workers were good friends and we shared experiences with companies for home repair,car mechanic, etc. Some of my co workers came out to check out the job on my olds and my buddy from michigan noticed that my metal vin plate was torn to shreds. I know the plate was intact because envirotest verifies it for the emmission test. The glass shop owner was very defensive about his employees and claimed that the vin plate must have been damaged before I brought my car in. Needless to say my ins. company said they weren’t liable since I only had liability coverage. I drove the car for several more years and finally let it go to salvage. It was a great car. I wish oldsmobile was still punching metal. MORAL: take a date stamp picture of your windshield vin the day you have your new glass installed.

  28. In 2014 i purchased a new Tahoe. In 2020 had windshield replaced because glass became pitted and was hard to see when raining.[16 years]
    I have had 2 windshields replaced within 4 months due to debris or stone hits that cracked the glass .
    Nobody will convince me that safelite replacement is as good as oem. Also they are on there way now to repair another stone strike. These hits would never have cracked the original they were not hard hits.

  29. I work in the auto glass industry in Arizona. Arizona is famous for rock chips/cracks because of the type of landscape that we have. It is a difficult situation some of us in the auto glass industry have to face. As much as we would like to install OEM glass on everyone’s vehicles Insurance co. do not want to pay for it. Even those that purchase OEM endorsements have to read the fine print on their contract because auto glass is not always included. Most insurance companies will pay only for OEE. Customers get offended and want to blame us but they fail to understand that if we were to install OEM when it is not being covered by insurance we would have a negative profit margin. We offer customers the option to pay for the difference but they refuse. No one wants to pay an additional $300 or greater on top of what the insurance covers.
    With that being said; i recommend the consumer to do a little homework as to the brand of OEE the auto glass company you are going with will be installing on your vehicle.
    Safelite manufactures their own glass and that’s the brand they use the most. At our company we prefer brands like Pilkington, FYG, PGW, Carlite (OEM for Ford), Mopar (OEM Fiat/Chrysler). Now we’ve had customers in who’s vehicle we installed OEM and they’ve called back with in a month because a rock hit them and they got a chip/crack. Please remember that at the end of the day glass is glass and will break OEM or not.

  30. I have my windscreen replaced by one of workshop in Sydney. After the job has done I have found that the class colour looks different from my original one. I have checked with VW workshop and the part department and it has kindly printed our my car’s windscreen info details.

    I have found the part number from my print out is different from the one newly replacement. If so, that has indicated that is different windscreen? Apart from that my record from VW workshop also shown ” green glass’ as a remark.

    What does that mean the end of part number the two letter shown as 5NA 845 011 AJ ?
    On the workshop invoice paper the part number has shown as OE # 5NA845011BLNVB

    As you can see from above, That are totally different parts number and it seems to me that if the part number is different then that two windscreens would be different. Right?

    I would much appreciate if you could provide advice to me from one of your expert.

    Thanks in advance,


    1. Hi Jim,
      Thank you for reaching out to us with your question. The numbers printed on the windscreen will be different from the numbers shown on the paperwork. You can find more information regarding how to decode the windscreen’s “bug” here:
      Decoding Your Car’s Windshield
      The bug will give us limited information regarding the manufacturer, the safety criteria, manufacturing date, and other characteristics. It will not tell us the actual part number of the glass. That will be on the original paperwork.
      The green tint you are seeing could be caused by a few factors. There are typically a handful of different windshields available for any given year/make/model of vehicle. These windshields will match with factory options from the vehicle. Typically, a glass shop will reference the VIN number, as well as complete a visual inspection of the vehicle to determine which windshield is the correct one for that particular vehicle. It’s possible that the wrong windshield was selected.
      The other factors are the vehicle’s history. If the vehicle was purchased used, it’s possible the windscreen was previously replaced and replaced incorrectly the first time. Or if the vehicle is older, wear and tear could have decreased the vibrance of the green tint over time and now you’re only noticing it because it’s brand new and clean.
      Lastly, due to the nature of manufacturing, different batches of glass may have slight differences to them, even if they’re all OE from Volkswagen. Or it’s possible that one of the windshields wasn’t OEM. More info on that here:
      OEM vs Aftermarket Glass

  31. I see wholesale pricelists online listing “economy” (TFG, DXG, YHG) “Midgrade” (XYG, PPG, Pilkington) and “highend” (Carlite, Mopar, OE) glass for different makes. Midgrade is about 50% higher than economy (1.5x higher). Highend/OE is about 250%+ of economy (2.5x higher). But there are minimum government safety standards according to your article that all three presumably meet (or some may exceed). If you have no electronics in the glass, isn’t it simply a personal preference? Or is there something about the clarity or thickness or glues/laminate layer that one can compare? Should economy be avoided? Or not necessarily so???

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