by Bob Beranek
  • facebook

I want to thank my readers for sending me issues involving safe installations. The newest one came from my friend, James Tremayne of Professional Glass in Seattle, Wash. His email mentioned a glass adhesion failure he witnessed.

This is the second time I have seen Volvo glass with bonding issues. The first was with pre-primed parts coming from Volvo dealerships. The difference here is that this was not the familiar paint delamination that we have seen on numerous makes and models of vehicles.

The problem Jim experienced was an adhesive failure to the glass surface. The vehicles involved were the 2010 Volvo S40 and a 2009 Volvo C30. These cars both take the FW2523 and the replacement glass in both cases were OE parts. Jim reported that one of these Volvos came to him with a leak complaint, and the other as a replacement, but both displayed the same condition. It seems that the failure is showing itself on the top of the glass only and not on the sides or bottom.

Bob104302015

Bob204302015

I did some research on Volvo leak problems, and found a large number of complaints concerning wet floors after a rain. Most of the suspected causes were the sunroof drains, but I also noticed many reports that fixing the sunroof didn’t work and the cars still leaked. Of those I reviewed, only one suggested the windshield seal as the culprit.

I called my expert at Saint Gobain, the OE supplier of the glass, and learned that Saint Gobain does not prep the glass in any way before it is shipped to Volvo. Any pre-priming or glass preparation is done by Volvo at their distribution and assembly plants.

Currently, we do not know the reason for this failure. The problem could be incorrect preparation, manufacturing defect, installation problems or adhesive defect. We also don’t know if this is widespread or just in a particular area. However, we do know that this is incorrect and if you have a customer that complains of a leak on their Volvo it is best to inform them of the issue and suggest replacing the windshield.

Knowing of this problem, this is what I would do if a customer brought me their Volvo with a windshield leak:

  1. I would push up from the inside of the vehicle and see if the glass is loose from the adhesive;
  2. If that does not show a failure in the bond, I would then use a leak detector to determine the location of the leak; and
  3. If a leak detector is not available, I would water test and determine the location of the leak that way. If it is coming from the top seal and the glass is OE, I would suggest replacement instead of a reseal.

Once the diagnosis is made, it would make sense to replace the windshield with a brand of glass that is not the OEM. If the OEM part has a built-in defect, which we do not know at this time, all we would be doing is replicating the problem. I would then proceed with the installation making sure that I follow my adhesive manufacturer’s instructions for the removal of non-traditional contaminants.

What seems ironic to me is that Volvo is famous for vehicle safety and demanding the use of their products for the sake of performance and to preserve the safety of their automobiles. Yet, at least some of the products they supply appear to be inadequate to that end. If anyone reading this post has some insight on this issue, please contact me at bob@autoglassconsultants.com.

The first of these recalls involves the Dodge Viper. Though, the Viper is not a large selling vehicle, it is a performance vehicle that would cause the owner to be concerned if the door flies open driving down the street. This is important to us in the automotive glass industry because we replace and service the door glasses on this vehicle. If we service the door glass and then the door flies open, we could be falsely blamed for a faulty door switch.

Make sure that the owner of any Viper serviced is aware of the recall and that the recall has been completed.

Report Receipt Date: MARCH 27, 2015

NHTSA Campaign Number: 15V178000

Component(s): STRUCTURE

Potential Number of Units Affected: 1,451

Vehicle Make, Model, Model Year(s)

  • DODGE VIPER 2013-2014

Manufacturer: Chrysler (FCA US LLC)

SUMMARY:

Chrysler (FCA US LLC) is recalling certain model year 2013-2014 Dodge Viper vehicles manufactured October 1, 2012, to February 6, 2014. Moisture may get into the door switch, resulting in the driver or passenger door opening unexpectedly while the vehicle is in motion.

CONSEQUENCE:

If the driver or passenger door opens unexpectedly while the vehicle is in motion, there is an increased risk of a crash and injury.

REMEDY:

Chrysler will notify owners, and dealers will replace the door handle assemblies and top covers, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin May 18, 2015. Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler’s number for this recall is R14.

NOTES:

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

 

Name Description Size(KB)
RCAK-15V178-5298.pdf Recall Acknowledgement 49
RCLRPT-15V178-7804.PDF Defect Notice 573 Report 28

 

Report Receipt Date: APRIL 01, 2015

NHTSA Campaign Number: 15V194000

Component(s): ELECTRICAL SYSTEM

Potential Number of Units Affected: 20,676

This recall looks familiar doesn’t it? This remains me of the GM debacle that cost them billions of dollars and many injuries and casualties. Volkswagen is getting on top of this early. We need to as well.

Make sure to reminder your customers of this recall and urge them to get it fixed as soon as possible.

Vehicle Make, Model, Model Year(s)

  • VOLKSWAGEN ROUTAN 2009-2010

Manufacturer: Volkswagen Group of America Inc.

SUMMARY:

Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (Volkswagen) is recalling certain model year 2009 Routan vehicles manufactured June 25, 2008, to June 10, 2009, and 2010 Routan vehicles manufactured October 1, 2009, to August 11, 2010. This defect can affect the safe operation of the airbag system. Until this recall is performed, customers should remove all items from their key rings, leaving only the ignition key. The key fob (if applicable), should also be removed from the key ring. Road conditions or some other jarring event may cause the ignition switch to move out of the run position, turning off the engine.

CONSEQUENCE:

If the ignition key inadvertently moves into the OFF or ACCESSORY position, the engine will turn off, which will then depower various key safety systems including, but not limited to, airbags, power steering and power braking. Loss of functionality of these systems may increase the risk of crash and/or increase the risk of injury in the event of a crash.

REMEDY:

Volkswagen will notify owners, and dealers will replace the ignition switch and key FOBs, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in April 2015 for 2009 Routan vehicles, and in August 2015 for 2010 Routan vehicles. Owners may contact Volkswagen customer service at 1-800-822-8987. Volkswagen’s number for this recall is 28H1. Note: This recall supersedes recalls 11V151 and 14V396. Vehicles that previously received an ignition switch trim ring as a recall remedy must have their vehicles remedied again under this campaign. Vehicles that have already received a new ignition switch are not covered by this campaign.

NOTES:

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

We need to address this recall because we use the passenger side airbag to promote our proper installation practices. This recall is on an occupant detection mat (sensor) in the front passenger seat. The sensing mat is defective and requires replacement.

This does not directly pertain to any glass replacement but it does pertain to our marketing endeavors of promoting safe installation. Do your customers a service and mention the recall and urge them to correct the problem as soon as possible.

Report Receipt Date: APRIL 06, 2015

NHTSA Campaign Number: 15V205000

Component(s): AIRBAGS

Potential Number of Units Affected: 91,800

Vehicle Make, Model, Model Year(s)

  • MINI COOPER 2005-2006
  • MINI COOPER CONVERTIBLE 2005-2008
  • MINI COOPER S2005-2006
  • MINICOOPER S CONVERTIBLE2005-2008

Manufacturer: BMW of North America, LLC

SUMMARY:

BMW of North America LLC (BMW) is recalling certain model year 2005-2006 MINI Cooper and Cooper S vehicles manufactured January 5, 2005, to November 28, 2006, and 2005-2008 MINI Cooper Convertible and Cooper S Convertible vehicles manufactured January 5, 2005, to July 31, 2008. Due to manufacturing, installation, and exposure issues, the front passenger seat occupant detection mat may not function properly and, as a result, the front passenger air bag may not deploy in a crash.

CONSEQUENCE:

An improperly functioning mat may cause the passenger frontal airbag to be inactive when the seat is occupied, and in the event of a crash, the air bag will not deploy, increasing the passenger’s risk of injury.

REMEDY:

MINI will notify owners, and dealers will replace the front passenger seat occupant detection mat, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin May 1, 2015. Owners may contact MINI customer service at 1-866-825-1525.

NOTES:

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

I got a call from my friend Gene Nichols at Richardson Glass Service in Newark, Ohio, last week concerning a problem with a windshield installation on a 2014 Dodge Durango. After the installation, the customer complained of a buzzing noise when the vehicle was driven at 65 mph or higher.

My first thought was that the noise complaints were from an exposed-edge glass, which is very common on Chrysler vehicles. However, I have never heard the term “buzzing” before when describing noise complaints. I asked Gene to let me know what he discovers.

Gene sent out his crack Auto Glass Safety Council Certified Technician, James Chapman, to investigate the problem and perform the fix for the customer. James took a look and went for a test drive to find that the cowl panel had warped in several locations.

BobDodgeDurango

Gene, being an investigator himself, wanted to find out if the original technician had somehow caused the distortion when he removed the cowl. He searched the Internet and found that this is not an unusual problem with this vehicle. It is simply an inherent problem with that cowl panel and was not caused by anything his installer did. They tried various fixes, such as double-faced tape and butyl tape, but nothing seemed to be strong enough to hold down the panel flush to the windshield’s surface.

Gene and James visited the customer again, took off the wipers and cowl panel and warmed the plastic panel between the built-in clip towers with a heat gun. They continued to heat it while smoothing out the distortion and reshaping it to normal. After reinstalling the cowl panel and wipers, the cowl fit flush and smooth to the glass surface. They then test drove the vehicle to confirm that the noise was gone.

Proof positive that a little innovation goes a long way and it is much cheaper than a $200 cowl panel replacement. Gene’s advice is to make sure that your tool box includes a heat gun.