by Bob Beranek
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I hear daily about auto glass technicians who aren’t addressing the issue of recalibrating Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) with their customers. I find this very distressing. Is the problem that they don’t know what ADAS is or what it does? Do techs choose to ignore the issue because recalibration is too difficult to deal with? The statement I’ve frequently heard, “I’ve never had a problem with…,” is always true until it’s not. Here are the facts.

  • Whether the ADAS malfunctions, trips a fault code or not, the vehicle must be recalibrated after the windshield is replaced to assure proper operation of the vehicle. After an installation, the ADAS could very well not create an obvious problem. In some cases, if the camera, LIDAR or laser units are not disconnected, it won’t create a fault or malfunction, but systems may still be off slightly enough where warnings are late getting to the driver. ADAS also may not work according to manufacturer’s specifications. This puts the liability directly on the glass company or technician.

  • The customer themselves may not like or use the ADAS on a regular basis, so they may not know the system is malfunctioning until it is too late. We know that the ADAS can turn itself off if the conditions for operation is not present or obscured. This can be unmarked highways, obstructed views of lane marking, etc. We know that some of the warning signals are annoying and bothersome, so customers, if they have the choice, can turn off the system and drive the vehicle without the system’s help. However, it doesn’t mean you can disable the system as a repairer or “render it inoperative.”
  • We do not know all the ramifications of ADAS yet. Each manufacturer knows their own systems but not their competitors’. Some dealer groups don’t even know the recalibration requirements of the carmakers they represent. Some systems will create a fault detected by a simple scan and others will not, depending on the way the repair was completed. Some recalibrations are successful with aftermarket glass and others are not.

So what do we know for sure? We know that the issue must always be addressed before installation and the safety technology must be recalibrated according to the vehicle manufacturers’ specifications after the installation. Whether you personally do the recalibration, or you contract the dealership to complete it, is your choice.

ADAS systems are ever changing and vehicles may mostly become self-calibrating someday. Stay tuned. However, today you are legally liable for any problems stemming with ADAS after an installation, period.  You must arrange for recalibration, and it must be addressed with the customer.