Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) have plagued and perplexed our industry for the last few years.
There is confusion over whether ADAS systems are officially “safety” devices. Some have said that because the system can be turned off by the driver, it cannot be considered a safety device. There are very different regulations designed for “safety devices” than other add-ons in a vehicle.
Dealerships haven’t been paying attention to automotive-glass related issues because glass replacement is outsourced to another company, and they depend on the service provider to deal with glass-related problems.
ADAS is a relatively new technology that does not apply to all models within a brand. Unless the carmaker announces a new service initiative with tools, directives and protocols, the dealerships let it pass without much attention. Service managers do not read the manual until they need to. Considering that most dealerships subcontract glass work, it will be up to glass replacement companies to raise questions about the new technology.
A big roadblock in getting definitive answers is the fear of liability, both on the part of carmakers and car repair facilities. I don’t think there is much question that these systems are safety devices, but some companies may be very reluctant to say that out loud for fear of becoming responsible for failures to the systems.
That brings us to our current situation: Carmakers defend themselves against liability by requiring or recommending recalibration, OE glass and/or other hoops to jump through. They hope these requirements will protect against a lawsuit, or at least supply a defense that is deemed plausible. The technology is too new to have a track record of data to prove one way or another right now. We are all trying to protect ourselves by crossing all the “T’s” and dotting all the “I’s.”
We in the automotive glass industry are no different than carmakers in wanting to minimize our liability. We want to release a safe vehicle to our customers, but we need information from carmakers and car designers so that we can define and overcome obstacles to aftermarket replacement.
As we uncover information that could help you in the field, we will let you know. Feel free to collect and forward all the supporting documents, pictures, or information you can for consideration, as well.