ADAS Windscreens (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) have been in use for some time. ADAS are driver assistance accessories developed to automate/adapt/enhance vehicles for improved safety.
ADAS comes with features designed to reduce collisions by assisting/alerting the driver to potential dangers. For example, ADAS may deploy safeguards by taking over control of the vehicle, to reduce the chance of a collision.
Adaptive features may automate lighting, provide cruise control, incorporate GPS/ traffic warnings, lane departure cameras, etc.
ADAS has been around for years, however, it has for mostly been reserved for more expensive prestige vehicles.
Is ADAS Windscreen Necessary?
There is no doubt ADAS has some handy features that could potentially be of value for motorists. Taxi’s, Transport, Couriers and anyone who spends much of their day in a vehicle, could benefit from this technology.
Like most technologies, over time it becomes more affordable and as a result it’s made available to the masses. Just as the humble reversing cameras has become standard, so have more complex systems.
So much so, that it’s not uncommon to find ADAS systems on vehicles in the $30k price range. Mazda and Honda are two brands that are including basic systems on many of their low end models. This is good news, right? All the technology that was reserved prestige vehicles, now standard on the average family car has to be good news? Well perhaps not.
What the dealer won’t tell you
When you purchase your new vehicle, the sales rep is unlikely to inform you of the potential costs going forward. For example, many ADAS systems are mounted to the vehicles windscreen, the most fragile part of the vehicles outer shell.
Over time you will need likely require a replacement windscreen replacement. So when deciding on a vehicle, it’s a good idea to calculate future running costs.
A standard windscreen replacement for a Mazda 3 without ADAS costs approx $300/500 Australian at the time of this writing.
However, the same genuine windscreen with an ADAS mounting system on the glass could cost as much as $2.5k. This does include a calibration of the camera, which apparently takes several hours according to the dealer.
By comparison, if you were to purchase a generic version of windscreen, you would still be up for $1000.
void warranty on generic ADAS Windscreens
So why not install a generic ADAS windscreen, this being the cheaper solution?
Dealerships state you should not install generic windscreens into vehicles with ADAS, as it will void the ADAS warranty. Void, no exceptions.
We are informed by Australian dealers that due to differences in glass clarity, quality and fit. Generic windscreens can render an ADAS system to be more/less sensitive, than the original glass. This in turn has the potential to make the ADAS system unstable.
This is not to say the system will fail. Most auto glass shops in Australia install generic glass into ADAS vehicles and the systems work just fine.
However, if you choose the generic path, you should understand you are on your own. The dealer will not support the system. Service 8® has no objection to generics as long as customers are informed of the consequences and void warranty.
Windscreen Insurance Claims
Now, for those of you who are thinking, no problem, we have insurance. Why not simply have the insurance group pay for the genuine windscreen. Think again, it’s a little more complicated than that.
Insurance groups have deals with windscreen repairers to keep costs under control. These windscreen repairers are know as “recommended repairers” or “selected repairers”.
It’s important to point out that a “recommended repairer” works for the insurance group, not you. As a consequence if an insurance group instructs a recommended repairer to install generic glass, they do so.
It’s standard practice for national organisations to installing generic windscreens with ADAS and not inform the policy holder. This means if you have a problem with your ADAS system, your manufactures warranty will be void.
Worse still, if the system malfunctions and results in a collision, or injury, who will be liable? The manufacturer? The insurance group? The windscreen company? You?
This may seem like what ifs and maybes, however, the risk is very real and problems are likely. We live in a period were vehicles are adopting technology faster than it is able to be properly tested.
Similar to computer systems and smart phones, devices are rolled out in beta phase to be tested by the public. This is when the system is really put to the test and firmware upgrades soon follow as problems arise.
Outdated ADAS Technology
Another disadvantage of unnecessary technology is it’s outdated very quickly, especially in vehicles. When a vehicle is designed years before production, what was current then, may not be current now. As a result, by the time a vehicle is in production its technology may already be several years old.
What’s more, future customers are hesitant to purchase vehicles with outdated technology. Especially if its technology is no longer supported and expensive to repair.
In the case of an ADAS windscreens that costs 2.5k to replace. There could be a time when a vehicle could be written off for a minor defect. Simply because it was over priced to repair. That does not sound environmentally friendly to me.
Think about that for a moment. How many times have seen a vehicle that had a inbuilt clunky screen and old Sat Nav. Worse still, the dealer wants several hundred every time it requires a system update.
It’s a much simpler idea to use a Smartphone on a dock/dash mount. Google Maps work much better, faster and is always up to date. Further more, it comes at everyone favorite price, free.
At Service 8® Auto Glass, we prefer simple, reliable technology, especially on vehicles. We like to put the key in the ignition rather than press the button. It just limits the amount of potential problems. Unnecessary electronics fail often and are expensive to repair, this we all know too well from experience.
In summary our advice would be purchase an ADAS vehicle only if you have the capital to maintain it.
Don’t fall victim to your insurance group installing a generic glass and therefor forfeiting your vehicles warranty.
Check the original windscreen standards mark and take photo. If the replacement windscreen does not match, then demand an explanation.
It’s an illegal practice to not have full disclosure from your insurance group. In addition it’s simply unethical to install parts that could put you and your passengers at risk.
Windscreens are labeled with DOT numbers (Department Of Transport) to identify its manufacturer and country of origin. This is how you know if your glass is generic or not.