Save a Life

Did you ever complete an installation and think to yourself that you just saved a life? Maybe you found a pinchweld so corroded that it was undermining the bead. Maybe you found glass separated from the urethane with no adhesion at all.

You could have been called out on a leak to find that the OE glass was not adhering to the adhesive and just pushed out with your hands. Perhaps the OE adhesive peeled away from the pinchweld when you began to prep the existing bead and you noticed that the paint completely failed.

My training class last week had one of those experiences. We were working on a relatively new Ford Econoline van DW1767. The glass was original equipment. We wired out the glass to demonstrate the proper use of the tool and to save the moulding. Once we got the glass out, we noticed that the urethane bead was applied very high on the pinchweld. As a matter of fact, it was more on the wall of the upper pinchweld than the floor of the pinchweld. The urethane bead was barely touching the glass at all. It was bonded to the underside of the moulding more than it was touching the bonding edge of the glass surface. The pinchweld floor had no primer or any urethane at all. It looked completely clean.

A few of my students have some experience as technicians and indicated they have seen this before on Ford Econolines. This surprised me. If it is true that this is a common problem with this vehicle, it should be announced in a loud voice to everyone who will listen. This is a problem that must be made public for the safety of all concerned.

The ANSI/AGSC/AGRSS™ Standard 003-2015 does not address the original vehicle assembly itself. The Standard does address the products used and introduced in the replacement of automotive glass, but it does not mention the defects witnessed by the technician on the vehicle itself. In 8.5 of the AGRSS™ Standard it says:

8.5 Notification of defective product:

  • A failure or defect in any product used or intended for use in the automotive glass replacement process that could jeopardize customer safety shall be reported promptly to the manufacturer or supplier of the product.


  • Any product installed by those engaged in automotive glass replacements that is discovered to be defective or which is determined could jeopardize customer safety must be immediately reported to the customer with an offer to remedy the situation.

The AGRSS™ Standard makes us responsible for the use of proper products to replace the automotive glass and for reporting defects of those products. We are also responsible for fixing bonding problems when we come upon them. However, how many Ford Econolines, without broken glass, are being driven around right now with a windshield that is inadequately bonded to the body?

As an industry, we need a mechanism to report a questionable bonding issue to the carmaker. We sometimes discuss it between ourselves and post it on glassBYTEs.com™ but we need to make a greater effort to get these issues out in the open so we can force change in manufacture and make adjustments in our installations that are proven safe and effective.

The old saying, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” is true. We need to squeak very loudly to be heard. Someone’s life may depend on it.