The Windshield Debacle

So, now that everything is finally back in order, I think it’s time to recap this story.

This story actually starts way back in 2006. I had my STI for about 4 months and one day took a small rock to the top of windshield from one of Washington’s notoriously uncovered dump trucks (remember kids, don’t speed, but it’s OK let cargo hit cars at 60 MPH). The chip wasn’t even really a chip. It didn’t spider web or anything, I couldn’t even see where it hit until I left my car in the garage for a weekend to find a giant crack down my windshield. So, being that it wasn’t in my way visually and I knew Washington State Troopers would rather pull over well equipped sports cars to generate revenue than enforce dangerous things like uncovered dump truck loads, I opted to not fix it until something else happened.

Fast forward to March 2008 and I’m working from home most days because I’m “on the bench” at work. I decided this would be a good time to get my windshield fixed that I’d been putting off for 2 years. After a lot of research and unanswered queries to people who claimed to have a “great windshield guy”, I gave up and just went with Safelite. Their windshield paint pattern was exactly like OEM glass and everyone was out of the PPG glass that I wanted.

So, a few weeks back a guy from Safelite comes and replaces my windshield. When he’s done I come out and do an inspection. John the install guy asks if I have questions. Naturally, I do because everything looks weird. The glass looked like it was mounted too low. The bottom seal didn’t look like it was on right and the grooves for the glass weren’t sitting right. He said that the “glass was just a little smaller than normal” but that it was OK. He also told me that the sun and natural wear and tear would make the bottom seal sit back into place. I said ‘OK’, paid him, and then he was off.

After he left, I walked around the car to pull it back into the garage. Then I noticed a shit ton (that’s an official metric unit) of scratches. The roof line, A-pillar (really bad here), and hood were all scratched pretty badly. That pissed me off. I left my car in the garage for almost a week. Next time I drove the car, I adjusted the mirror; it was completely loose and wobbly. Awesome, I couldn’t even see out of it because it was vibrating so badly. I filled out an online complaint form and heard nothing back. I tried to repair the scratches as much as possible with Meguiar’s ScratchX and some elbow grease, but I was only able to minimize the look of most scratches. My friend Nick also managed to reattach the bottom seal. Also, I took apart the rear view mirror and assembled it properly.

Fast forward another week and Safelite sends me an online satisfaction survey. Still pissed, I filled another online form. This time I get a call from a Safelite corporate representative. She put me in touch with the local Safelite, who sent out a damage control guy. The damage control guy completely agreed with me (windshield was mounted an inch too low, sloppy work, and the paint was scratched).

Today they sent out a different glass technician and a paint repair guy from Same Day Auto Scrach and Dent Repair. My car feels whole again. Scratches are 95% gone, windshield sits right, and the seals all line up. Hooray! Without repainting the car, I’ll never get the deep scratches out of the paint, but the paint guy did a good job of cleaning up what he could.

April 2nd, 2008 5:45 pm

that’s cool that it had a happy ending.

and here i was ready to tell you to complain to or…but calling corp was a better idea.

April 4th, 2008 11:04 am

next time insist on dealer glass and 2 experienced installers who are agrss registered. NEVER accept a job where they don’t return your car in good condition. There is NO excuse for the installer scratching your paint. The scenario you told is entirely avoidable.

April 4th, 2008 1:45 pm

Wow, that installer was good !!

He may not be a good installer, but what a line of s***. The guy is a salesman.

Next time, go to a local shop that installs the glass carefully.

April 4th, 2008 3:38 pm

Thank God they only did a replacement with there own aftermarket glass(notoriously inferior),you were lucky you didn’t get one of their “windshield repairs”

April 4th, 2008 8:45 pm

it’s sad that we have technicians working in this industry that think the best thing to do is disquise the problems instead of fixing it right the first time. good luck

April 7th, 2008 9:17 am

I worked for Safelite Years ago when it was Penn Glass and the it changed names to Penn/Safelite for about 10 years I was an installer the problem is that safelite make their own glass and it is not the same there smaller, shaped wrong, and they have many defects in them. They won’t tell you that. You can use a PPG or Plinkigton glass because they are the OEM makers for 85% of the Manufacturers of cars. I been in the buisness for a long time Safelite is running a Radio Ad here in NY that makes me want to throw up its so annoying the play it ever five minutes., If you want your car done right ask the glass service what glass they use all the rest doesn’t even matter. Its the glass and the change of a new moulding, and th installer should care what their work looks like an you should be fine.

April 29th, 2009 8:07 am

I’m going to vomit if I hear another Safelite commercial. I would go out of my way to never use Safelite. They obviously are a very unimaginative and irresponsible company. They think that shear numbers of commercials are the key to success.