The Independent Auto Glass Association recently launched a full-scale attack on windshield repair and the customer's right to choose repair. It is attempting to use government regulatory agencies to reduce or eliminate windshield repair from the marketplace. The IGA, without prior notice and without any consultation with the windshield repair industry, developed and released a misleading, inaccurate, poorly designed study that denigrates windshield repair to government regulators in Connecticut. The IGA has also released this report to the press. It is our opinion that the IGA is attempting to limit the customer's right to choose repair as a less expensive alternative to replacement by citing this self-serving, seriously flawed report.
While the NWRA was caught completely off guard by the announcement, we are currently marshaling our resources to counteract any attack on repair customers and repairers themselves. A statement from NWRA President, Bill Batley, will appear on this web site shortly. The entire board of directors is gearing up to provide customers, industry, government and our members with accurate information and a forceful response. Additionally the NWRA is reviewing its legal options and will aggressively defend the rights of customers to continue to have their windshields repaired.
Here is what has happened to date. On Friday, July 25 2003 Tim Smale, IGA CEO, wrote an article "How Safe is Windshield Repair?" that appeared in the IGA Beacon and was presented to the Connecticut Automotive Work and Flat Glass Work Examining Board. The article revealed that IGA was concerned about moisture in the plastic inner layer, Poly Vinyl Butral (PVB) of the windshield in regards to windshield repair.
IGA commissioned a study of twelve broken windshields of which only seven were used for the study. It has been rumored that sample preparation was done in the back yard of an IGA board member. The study was done for the IGA by Solutia, a diversified company that manufactures PVB for the windshield manufacturing process in its own laboratory. Even the IGA admits this study has two primary faults; "the company that did the study (Solutia) has some stake in the matter, and the sample size was quite small so the study may not be statistically valid. "
"Solutia summarized their study as follows: Moisture infusion into the PVB interlayer of a broken windshield was shown to reduce the adhesion between the glass and the PVB in that region, thereby adding risk of injury from glass spalling (pieces of glass flying off the windshield) during subsequent impacts. Of the several broken windshields that were repaired, windshields number 3, 5, and 7 showed no remaining adhesion between the PVB and the glass in the areas at and surrounding the repair. "
The "spalling" claims brought forth in this one sided, completely flawed test have been long repudiated by windshield repair industry studies. Keep checking on this site for updates to this evolving situation.