ADAS Windscreens – More Trouble & Expense

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.

ADAS Windscreen Camera System
ADAS Windscreen Mounted Camera

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.

Subaru Genuine ADAS Calibration Voucher
Subaru Include A Calibration With Their Genuine Windscreens

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.

Summery

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.

3 thoughts on “ADAS Windscreens – More Trouble & Expense”

  1. Insurance repairs must return the vehicle to pre-crash safety (ADRs, i-Car, manufacturer repair methods are all in play) ADAS is no different to ABS or Air bags (if deployed) they need to be replaced, tested and functioning when the vehicle leaves the repairer. Insurers are not in the habit of having potential million dollar liability claims for not re calibrating ADAS for emergency braking assist that results in the death of a pedestrian or passenger etc. imagine that being tabled at the board of directors – ‘we can save this amount of money if we promote unsafe repairs – i’m sure similar conversations were had when there was the introduction of the Air bag which is now almost commonplace in all cars. You are making some quite dramatic accusations in your review, it may be best to speak to a motoring advocacy group to see how they are developing their own steps to ensure vehicles are repaired nothing short of manufacturer spec. There is a large glass company that i won’t name, that can re calibrate ADAS vehicles and has invested millions of dollars into the development of tooling and upskilling staff to be able to facilitate this. Old school repairer who are not up to speed with the pace the automotive industry is at should be the focus of your article. Not the insurers

    Reply
    • The post I made was mainly about the practice of using generic parts that void the vehicles ADAS warranty, and from my personal enquirers this is true.

      There may be large national corporations installing generic glass and using generic calibration tools on vehicles, however, this does not mean it preserves the manufactures warranty.

      We say this with confidence based on several conversations with local vehicle dealers. Just like you can have your iPhone repaired at any Shopping Mall, however, you should understand Apple will void your warranty if you do so. This is pretty normal procedure with any item you purchase. Im not sure you have read the article correctly.

      In addition, ADAS is not at all like ABS or Airbag Systems, ADAS is a “driving assistant”. The manual states that no liability is taken in regards to a collision by the manufacture. In short, its not reliable. ABS and Air Bags on the other hand are part of the vehicles crash management system. You can switch off ADAS you can’t switch off ABS and Airbags.

      I have written this article based on much research and actual field experience so I would say I have the credentials to raise the points. I also have 25+ years experience in the Auto Glass industry at all levels and would consider myself an independent expert.

      Personally I don’t take motor advocacy groups too seriously since they have a tendency to have conflicting views depending which sponsors they have relationships with. These groups are far from independent and more often than not their views are influenced by money.

      Whilst the post is designed to encourage sensible arguments I feel your comments are based on articles you may have read online rather than from personal experience. You also seem offended that I pointed to insurance groups as a possible cause for the generic parts problem.

      Whilst you may have an interest/stake in insurance groups we do not, we are independent. This article is targeted at the unsuspecting public who are usually the ones to loose out.

      However, since you leave no name, experience, credentials then it’s difficult to take your comments seriously.

      Michael Smedley
      Technical Manager
      Service 8®

      Reply
  2. Very thorough response michael to just another anonymous BS merchant who by the sounds of it really doesnt know what he is on about.. keep up the good work

    Reply

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