by Bob Beranek
  • facebook

I never knew there was such a thing as an OEM windshield warranty. But apparently there is. And now I’ve learned that one has been extended. I received the head’s up from one of my friends at American AutoGlass Administrators in the United Kingdom, namely Brian Butterworth. He passed along a notice sent to Subaru owners concerning a problem with the original equipment (OE) windshield equipped with a wiper park heater. The warranty on the windshields was extended from three years or 36,000 miles to five years and unlimited miles for a defect in the manufacturing of the OE windshield. According to the letter, the glass is manufactured by Carlex.

Evidently, there is a compound used to adhere the heating element to the glass and the compound can cause a superficial damage that can become a full blown crack. What I think they mean by a superficial damage is a divot rather than a chip that breaks the outer layer of glass. When the heating element is activated with the use of the defroster, there is a concentrated heat spike that can cause a minor divot to become an unrepairable crack.

This damage could be mistaken for a stress break or thermal break because of its location at the bottom of the windshield and the absence of a definite chip in the glass. If the cause can be traced to a rock chip rather than a minor glass divot, the dealership will not pay for the replacement or repair. However, if the break appears to be caused without a chip in the glass and the crack comes in contact with the heating element location, the dealership is required to cover the damage.

Subaru warns that the glass must be the OE part and not a replacement. The OEM will not cover any chips or breaks outside of the heating element area. The company will reimburse the customer for a replacement as long as there was out-of-pocket expense to the customer.

I recommend that all glass shops and technicians be aware of this condition so they can intelligently advise their customers. Contact your local dealer and obtain a copy of the letter sent to their customers. It was dated, October 23, 2015 and titled “Important Notice: Warranty Extension for Windshields Cracking at Deicer On 2015 and early production 2016 Legacy and Outback.” It does contain reimbursement requirements. Glass shops may also be contacted to get replacement invoices from past replacements on 2015-2016 Subaru Legacy and Outback models for reimbursements.