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post #1 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-05-2017, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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Windshield replacement trouble

So a few weeks ago I had a rock come off a truck and strike my windshield putting a chip with some cracks coming off of it. Insurance wanted to get it repaired instead of replaced so i did. Problem was, you could still see three cracks. Im sure it may have been structurally sound but wasnt acceptable to me. I have State Farm (some family works for them) with no deductible so they said lets replace it.

Glass America comes out and puts a PGW windshield in it. Seemed fine but when i drove it a couple days later I was getting severe eye strain and headaches and had trouble focusing when i looked to the right side of the road. I call the insurance agent and he wanted me to have them replace it but i thought they only used that kind of glass and i didnt want to take another chance. I wanted to put OEM glass in it so i didnt have to do this anymore. I get set up with another company.

Yesterday they bring me my OEM glass. We set it up on a stand and look through it and at first i thought it was okay but then the guy and myself noticed it had waves in it too!!! He puts it back and calls his manager. They order me another windshield. This was another aftermarket brand. I said, i just want a clear piece of glass at this point, i dont care who makes it.

Today, they bring me another one. They had two workers this time. We set it up on the stand and wouldnt you know, it had waves in it too! Not as bad as the previous ones but right in my line of sight when looking right. We all just stood there baffled. They put it back and called the manager. This time, the guy tells me that the manager said i needed to get a piece of glass on my own through a dealer and when i find one clear they would come and install it. You kidding me!?

I call the manager after they leave and said it sounded like they were done with me and i wanted him to clarify if he did or did not want the job. The closest dealer is 1 hour and 2 hours from me and going and getting my own glass was going to be a little tough and frankly i would just let them deal with it if i made that kind of drive. After telling him this he said he wanted to do it and he is ordering another windshield and we are going to try it again tomorrow. Lol.

Just thought i would share. So far we are on three windshields (two separate companies) in a row that were defective. Three different brands including a toyota OEM. Round 4 will be tomorrow and I am really hoping it doesnt have waves and anything else wrong.

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post #2 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-05-2017, 09:23 PM
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strange that a OEM had imperfections, QC is a big thing on safety items such as windshields. You'd think they would have checked the dang glass before leaving the shop after the first defective one. Tell them to get another oem one.

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post #3 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-06-2017, 10:33 PM
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As a production supervisor for 38 years for an automotive glass manufacturer I can tell you the wavy problem you are facing is called "reflective distortion." All automotive glass whether tempered or laminated, has it. During production QC, supervisors and line operators randomly pull a windshield, sidelite or backlite off the line and check it on a "zebra" board and "string" board for distortion. If it doesn't pass inspection the line is shut down and all the glass that was ran since the last inspection is put on "hold" and later re-inspected. It is nearly impossible for bad glass to leave the factory, especially for something as obvious as reflective distortion.
That being said.....the specification for allowable distortion on "replacement" glass is a much looser spec. This is an industry wide standard that the after market and OEM purchasers allow. So even if you get an OEM sourced windshield it is still manufactured as "replacement" and is designated so by the different monogram on one the bottom corners. It identifies that it was manufactured under looser specifications than a production OEM run. Sad to say a replacement windshield costs the buyer more yet will seldom look as good as the original windshield. You may get lucky with your next one, as long as it's not Chinese (their replacement glass manufacturers are notoriously HORRIBLE). If it was made by an American, Japanese or German company just have them install it and accept it as it is. Sorry that this happened but what I told you is the automotive industry's dirty little secret, not just with glass but any "replacement" automotive part.....not quite as good as the original.

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post #4 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-06-2017, 11:53 PM
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My glass has been flawed since I drove it off the lot. It looks fine but has nodules on it. When i use my windshield wipers in the rain it streaks like crazy making it really hard to see. The dealer won't do anything. I nearly choked the guy after I left the last time. His best advice was to try rainx.
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post #5 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 06:54 AM Thread Starter
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As a production supervisor for 38 years for an automotive glass manufacturer I can tell you the wavy problem you are facing is called "reflective distortion." All automotive glass whether tempered or laminated, has it. During production QC, supervisors and line operators randomly pull a windshield, sidelite or backlite off the line and check it on a "zebra" board and "string" board for distortion. If it doesn't pass inspection the line is shut down and all the glass that was ran since the last inspection is put on "hold" and later re-inspected. It is nearly impossible for bad glass to leave the factory, especially for something as obvious as reflective distortion.
That being said.....the specification for allowable distortion on "replacement" glass is a much looser spec. This is an industry wide standard that the after market and OEM purchasers allow. So even if you get an OEM sourced windshield it is still manufactured as "replacement" and is designated so by the different monogram on one the bottom corners. It identifies that it was manufactured under looser specifications than a production OEM run. Sad to say a replacement windshield costs the buyer more yet will seldom look as good as the original windshield. You may get lucky with your next one, as long as it's not Chinese (their replacement glass manufacturers are notoriously HORRIBLE). If it was made by an American, Japanese or German company just have them install it and accept it as it is. Sorry that this happened but what I told you is the automotive industry's dirty little secret, not just with glass but any "replacement" automotive part.....not quite as good as the original.

The PGW glass that was first put in it and is still in it is by far the worse windshield out of them all that has been brought. I dont care if there is some distortion as long as its not in my line of sight. It is sad they aren't made to tighter specs, they told me the it would cost almost a grand to install the OEM windshield.

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post #6 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 08:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaded View Post
So a few weeks ago I had a rock come off a truck and strike my windshield putting a chip with some cracks coming off of it. Insurance wanted to get it repaired instead of replaced so i did. Problem was, you could still see three cracks. Im sure it may have been structurally sound but wasnt acceptable to me. I have State Farm (some family works for them) with no deductible so they said lets replace it.

Glass America comes out and puts a PGW windshield in it. Seemed fine but when i drove it a couple days later I was getting severe eye strain and headaches and had trouble focusing when i looked to the right side of the road. I call the insurance agent and he wanted me to have them replace it but i thought they only used that kind of glass and i didnt want to take another chance. I wanted to put OEM glass in it so i didnt have to do this anymore. I get set up with another company.

Yesterday they bring me my OEM glass. We set it up on a stand and look through it and at first i thought it was okay but then the guy and myself noticed it had waves in it too!!! He puts it back and calls his manager. They order me another windshield. This was another aftermarket brand. I said, i just want a clear piece of glass at this point, i dont care who makes it.

Today, they bring me another one. They had two workers this time. We set it up on the stand and wouldnt you know, it had waves in it too! Not as bad as the previous ones but right in my line of sight when looking right. We all just stood there baffled. They put it back and called the manager. This time, the guy tells me that the manager said i needed to get a piece of glass on my own through a dealer and when i find one clear they would come and install it. You kidding me!?

I call the manager after they leave and said it sounded like they were done with me and i wanted him to clarify if he did or did not want the job. The closest dealer is 1 hour and 2 hours from me and going and getting my own glass was going to be a little tough and frankly i would just let them deal with it if i made that kind of drive. After telling him this he said he wanted to do it and he is ordering another windshield and we are going to try it again tomorrow. Lol.

Just thought i would share. So far we are on three windshields (two separate companies) in a row that were defective. Three different brands including a toyota OEM. Round 4 will be tomorrow and I am really hoping it doesnt have waves and anything else wrong.
I went through the exact same thing in 2015. It took 4 windshields before I got one that didn't make me sick. The distortion was that bad in sections. I sympathize with your situation. I thought I was crazy at the time, but when driving for 10 minutes makes you want to toss your lunch you'll be pretty adamant about changing it out!

Don't settle for a windshield that has that much distortion. My 4th still has minor distortion, but it is near the edges (far away from normal viewing) and is small enough that it does not bother me. When I leave this morning I'll take a picture of the brand I ended up getting.


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post #7 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 09:45 AM
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The PGW glass that was first put in it and is still in it is by far the worse windshield out of them all that has been brought. I dont care if there is some distortion as long as its not in my line of sight. It is sad they aren't made to tighter specs, they told me the it would cost almost a grand to install the OEM windshield.
I truly sympathize with your situation and am not surprised that the PGW windshield is the worst. PGW (Pittsburgh Glass Works) was once PPG (at one time called Pittsburgh Plate Glass). PPG was considered the premier glass manufacturer in the US for a century, including automotive, industrial and specialty glass. In the mid 1980s PPG as a corporation started branching out into other businesses including paints, fiberglass, chemicals, medical equipment, etc. Their involvement in these businesses proved to be a boon to them financially and soon their glass business became the least profitable of all their enterprises. The decision was eventually made to sell off their "legacy" glass business. In stepped an investment group with no former experience in glass manufacturing. Thinking they could do things better, they forced out the company's top brass and brought in their own managers, hired new production employees thru temp services even though the plants were UAW and dismissed 20% of the support staff at each glass plant. I heard the results turned out to be disastrous for product quality. To add fuel to the fire PGW has been sold 2 or 3 more times to various other "investment groups" that have agreed to keep the PGW name. A once proud business (PPG glass division) is now in shambles, from what I've heard, and under its new ownership is struggling to survive. So, yes, I would stay away from PGW glass.

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post #8 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 10:08 AM
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Here is the one that actually looks good to me.
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post #9 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 10:56 AM
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I was granted access to the Pilkington glass plant in Versailles Ky as a scale technician from 2008-2015. I can safely say that as a scale technician that everything that is manufactured at some point in the process must be weighed. Whether it is ingredients in a batch for the glass or a target weight for the final product or both. As far as the plant in Versailles goes, I can say that at least their scales were calibrated for the times I was there doing my job.

Now I understand that there are many processes and hands involved in the manufacturing, and if an operator doesn't use the scale correctly or doesn't have an oven temperature set correctly or whatever the case may be, then the product won't meet spec. My job was just a small piece of the process and manufacturers must have their scales calibrated and have traceable calibration certificates to be ISO compliant.

Sadly, I've also witnessed countless manufacturing plants transform into urban decay due to outsourcing and stories of poor unacceptable quality like this one seem to be on the rise...

Good luck with you endeavor, I hope you get a satisfactory product.

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post #10 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 01:02 PM Thread Starter
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Well, guy shows up with a new windshield. We put it on the stand and we both thought it looked fine so he puts it in. Afterwards he comes up and says hes finished but he has a feeling i am not going to be happy and i say why. He says there are waves in this glass too and he is baffled. So we both look and sure enough. I am beside myself at this point and not sure what im going to do.

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post #11 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 01:36 PM
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I hate this thread. I just cracked my windshield replacing my wiper blades. I am an asshole. I need an new windshield and you guys got me paranoid. I will let you know what happens. Glad to see this thread soon know what to expect.
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post #12 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 01:37 PM
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How much for the cheap windshield. I might not go through insurance. It depends on price. I have a 500$ deductible
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post #13 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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Here are two videos. The one of the left side of the windshield is pretty easy to see. The one of the right you can really see it if you look where the grass meets the concrete. Of course the video doesnt pick it up as well as being in person.




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post #14 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 01:57 PM
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Sounds like you need to trade it in.

Can you not get a replacement done at the dealership rather than dealing with the replacement company?


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The issue is the closes dealer is one hour away and i bought the truck from a place two hours away so i wanted to take this route first. Also, this place ordered a windshield froma toyota dealer and it was also defective. Lastly, my understanding is the dealership will not do it themselves and they will outsource the work to a windshield replacement company just like i am already doing. I believe danorox is right on the very lose standards for replacement windshields. Im going to go out and drive here soon and see if it bothers me and go from there.

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Last edited by chaded; 04-10-2017 at 02:23 PM.
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