by Bob Beranek
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I recently have heard reports that some third-party administrators (TPAs) are refusing to pay for the re-calibration of lane departure systems (LDS) built into the vehicles after a windshield is replaced. If true, it is up to the glass replacement company to communicate the importance of re-calibration to their customers and urge them to have the re-calibration completed by their vehicle dealership. It could be a matter of life or death.

First of all, there are several ways to mount the LDS sensing device. Some are mounted to the roof’s header and view through the windshield (Volvo); some are mounted to the outside rearview mirrors (BMW); others are mounted in the front grill of the vehicle; and still others are mounted to a glass bracket on the inside surface of the windshield.

Any vehicle that mounts the LDS camera to the glass requires that the camera be re-calibrated to assure proper operation. The vehicle brands that have voiced the most concern are Mercedes and Honda, but I am sure that other vehicles that have introduced this safety device will voice the same directive depending on where they decide to mount the camera. The camera shoots the center line to the left of the vehicle and vibrates the steering wheel to warn the driver when needed. Some will even begin the braking system. If the camera/sensor is misaligned, the sensor will not pick up the warning signal thus allowing the car to veer into the other lane. This is an important issue, and it must be communicated to the customer and their insurers.

Lane departure image

What do you do if the TPA refuses to pay for re-calibration? To assure that you are talking intelligently about the issue, I would suggest that you:

—Make sure that the vehicle has a glass mounted LDS and not one of the roof or grill mounted units that will not require re-calibration.

—Talk to the vehicle dealer and get a quote for calibrating the system. In our area it costs $75.00

—Get pre-authorization for the re-calibration from the TPA involved.

 —If the TPA refuses to pay for the re-calibration, ask for a written refusal letter to show your current and future customers.

—Explain the importance to the customer and charge them for the re-calibration.

—If everyone refuses to pay for the re-calibration, it will be the responsibility of the glass professional to make the final decision of refusing or accepting the job.

Remember that deviating from the vehicle manufacturers’ recommendations for safety means accepting the liability. You are the responsible party and you make the final decisions. Please let me know if you have had TPAs refuse to pay for re-calibration of lane departure systems.

Comment (1)

  1. Jeff Tatus said on 17-06-2013

    Bob… thanks for explaining this simple, yet not very obvious issue that is in fact, an issue with some TPA’s/insurers. Usually, some straight-forward communication is required to “re-calibrate” the thinking of the debtee (TPA or insurer).

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