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Auto Glass Standards of Performance

June 22, 2012
Division:agd

The issue: Public safety demands the professional installation of auto glass governed by an industry-led Standards of Performance. A Standards of Performance is a set of procedures and guidelines that insure the correct replacement of auto glass. A windshield protects the driver from weather and debris, and it plays a critical role in passenger security and vehicle integrity. For this reason, the proper implementation and auditing of any Standards of Performance is extremely important.

Auditing procedures are vital to any Standards of Performance program. An audit confirms that the procedures, equipment and materials used are appropriate, and that a windshield is properly installed for the maximum protection of passengers in the event of an accident. In short, an audit ensures that auto glass businesses and installers replace auto glass properly.

At issue for both the public and the industry is the recent trend where some insurance companies have been implementing their own Standards of Performance and auditing procedures. Their primary consideration appears to be containing costs while maintaining quality customer service for policyholders. However, since insurance companies are not auto glass installation experts, for the safety of the motoring public, its important that standards and auditing procedures are determined by industry.

The impact: Auto glass has a critical safety and structural function that contributes to passenger security and vehicle integrity. The windshield alone supports 30% of the roof’s strength, a vital element in vehicle rollovers. Contemporary windshields are held in place by special urethane adhesives, which will hold the windshield in place if properly installed.

Unfortunately, there is evidence that some windshields are not being safely and professionally replaced. There are no known studies in B.C. or Canada, but in 2000, a reporter from an ABC News Program (20/20) went undercover to have a windshield replaced in three different U.S. cities. Of all the places he visited that performed a windshield replacement, not one did the job correctly. Any of the mistakes that were made could have led to serious injury in the event of a serious car accident. Quality and professional competency should be the top priorities for anyone who needs auto glass service.

ARA Position: An auto glass Standards of Performance or accreditation program needs to be led by industry professionals to ensure the safety of the motoring public, and auto glass businesses and technicians need to be audited.

  • · The Auto Glass Division of the ARA is lobbying ICBC for an industry-led accreditation program, since insurance companies have minimal knowledge of the glass industry. To date, ICBC has stated they would not back an industry-led program. The ARA is urging ICBC to reconsider in order to ensure the safety of the motoring public.
  • · The ARA’s Auto Glass Division is working on implementing a North American-wide standard recognized by some U.S. private insurance companies.

For more information, please contact Darren Cox at darrencox@ara.bc.ca