When to Use Salvaged Glass

There always seems to be some confusion about the AGRSS™ Standard regarding the use of salvaged glass, even though the Auto Glass Safety Council has issued an interpretation concerning that issue. So, I thought I would give you my interpretation of the interpretation.

There is a need to use salvaged glass in some instances. For example when doing removal and re-installation (R&R) of glass parts and when the glass part is not manufactured anymore, “salvaged” glass may be your only option.  These parts must be used and installed in a safe manner, however, or we are putting our customers in a dangerous situation.

The Auto Glass Safety Council website states, “The “ANSI/AGRSS Standard 002-2002 does not prohibit the installation of ‘recycled’ or ‘used’ stationary automotive glass in motor vehicles provided the following three conditions are met:”

The three conditions are:

1. The glass is in a condition that will permit a safe installation and must be free of obvious structural or objectionable flaws.

This is very clear. The glass once removed from the original vehicle must be free of flaws that would hinder its safety role. It cannot be:

—Sandblasted so visibility is hampered;

—Have distortion in the “acute” vision area;

— Be chipped, which would weaken the glass structurally;

—Scratched, which would also weaken the glass; and

—So damaged that the customer will not accept it.

If the part is encapsulated and the encapsulation is bonded to the vehicle, the encapsulation material must be solidly intact and not seriously deformed which would cause improper bonding.

2. The glass is installed with the retention system compatible with the OEM design

Here is where my interpretation might differ from others. As a business owner and one who pays a liability insurance premium every month, I interpret this to mean that the glass is installed with the OE adhesive. I cannot be sure what material was previously used nor can I know if the previous installation was completed properly. I do know that the original vehicle manufacturer did have to use materials and install the glass part to meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. Therefore, my policy for salvaged parts is to use only OE glass from an OE installed vehicle. Any aftermarket installed parts are not used unless I know I did the prior installation.

3. For adhesive-bonded glass, the adhesive manufacturer’s application instructions must permit its use in connection with the installation of recycled or used adhesive-bonded, stationary automotive glass.

Simply put, the adhesive you use must allow and give instructions for how to bond to salvaged glass parts bonded to the vehicle frame. If your adhesive company does not recommend the use of salvaged parts or they do not give you written instructions on how to bond to salvaged parts, then you cannot use salvaged parts with that adhesive product.

Now, here is the kicker. You must be able to answer “yes” to all three points before you can safely install the salvaged parts. If you can’t, then all the liability is borne by you and your company and any injuries caused by improper installation is on your shoulders. If someone urges you to install a salvaged part incorrectly, no disclaimer, clause or sign-off will protect you.