ADAS Windscreen – More Trouble & Expense?

A quick note. For ADAS Windscreen Replacement in Tweed Heads please visit our main ADAS business page. Thanks.

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) have been in use for some time. ADAS are driver assistance accessories developed to automate/adapt/enhance vehicles to assist with driver safety.

An ADAS Windscreen may have many sensors attached to it to reduce collisions by assisting or alerting the driver to potential dangers when one is distracted or not paying attention. For example, ADAS may deploy safeguards by mildly taking over control. Further, ADAS is designed to reduce the chance of a collision to a potential problem. Adaptive features may automate lighting, provide dynamic cruise control, enable brak assisting, incorporate GPS/ traffic warnings, speed limit warning, safe lane departure cameras, etc. ADAS has been around for years in many forms, however, in the past it has for the most part been reserved for more expensive prestige vehicles.

Is An ADAS Windscreen Necessary?

There is no doubt ADAS has features are of value for motorists. Taxi’s, Transport, Couriers and anyone who spends much of their day in their vehicle could benefit from ADAS Technology.

Like most technologies, over time they become affordable to the mass market and as a result are made available for all. Just as the humble reversing cameras has become standard, so have more complex systems.

That said, it’s not uncommon to find Advance Driver Assistance Systems installed on vehicles in the $30k price range. Mazda and Honda are two brands that include basic ADAS systems on many entry level models. This has to be good news for motorists, right? Technology that was once reserved for prestige vehicles is now standard on the average family car? Well, perhaps…

ADAS Windscreen
ADAS Windscreen Mounted Camera

What the Dealer Forgot to ‘t tell you

When you purchase your new vehicle, the sales assistant is unlikely to inform you of potential running costs of the vehicle going forward. For example, many ADAS systems are mounted to the vehicles windscreen, the most fragile part of the vehicles outer shell.

Over time it’s inevitable you will require a windscreen replacement in the future. So when deciding on a vehicle, it’s good practice to calculate future running costs as well as the vehicles initial purchase price.

At the time of this writing a standard generic windscreen replacement for a Mazda 3 without ADAS costs approx $400/600 Australian. However, the same genuine windscreen with an ADAS mounting system on the glass costs as much as $2.5k. This includes a calibration of the camera. By comparison, if you were to purchase a generic version of the ADAS optioned windscreen, one would still expect to pay in excess of $1100 AUD.

Void Warranty on Generic ADAS Windscreens

So why not install a generic ADAS windscreen as this is the cheaper solution? Dealerships state you should not install generic windscreens into vehicles equipped with ADAS, as doing so will void the vehicle ADAS warranty. Void, no exceptions, their words not mine.

The dealer goes on to say this is due to differences in glass clarity, ADAS bracket/mount quality and glass fitment in general. In their words, generic windscreens can render an ADAS system to not perform as a genuine windscreen and as a result could become unstable.

That said, our experience for the most part has been quite different to the advice given by dealers. Most auto glass shops in Australia install generic glass at the request of customers and with a few exceptions ADAS systems calibrate and function fine after installing generic windscreens.

However, as a technician of over 30 years I must point out that a genuine windscreens fit is superior in most cases compared to a generic windscreen and in some case we would only recommend genuine. For more information on genuine windscreens vs generic windscreens read my other blog.

It goes without saying that of course a dealer will insist on genuine parts since this is their business to sell them. That said, we have installed many generic windscreens at the dealers service center at their request, so go figure. Clearly we have legislation in Australia that suggests dealers can’t legally void warranty’s if one selects generic parts. However, to be fair, if the particular generic part proves to be problematic, one can’t expect the dealer to diagnose at their expense.

Windscreen Insurance Claims

For those who are thinking no problem, I’ve got insurance. The insurance group pay for the genuine windscreen. Think again, it’s a little more complicated than that.

Insurance groups have agreements with some windscreen repairers to keep their costs under control and keep their profits high. These windscreen repairers are know as “recommended repairers” or “selected repairers”. One should understand 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 as they are told.

It’s standard practice for national organisations to install generic windscreens with ADAS and not inform the policy holder. But don’t get too stressed as a quality generic windscreen will function just fine if installed correctly by an experienced technician. However, we believe transparency should be at the forefront in such cases.

To read more about the contract you have with your insurance group, read your Insurance Product Disclosure Statement (PDS), this is the actual contract you have with your insurance group.

Outdated ADAS Technology

Another disadvantage of unnecessary technology is it’s outdated very quickly, especially in vehicles. A vehicle is often designed years before production and what was current then may not be current now. By the time a vehicle is in production its technology may already be dated. Furthermore, future used car buyers are hesitant to purchase vehicles with outdated technology, especially if its technology is no longer supported and expensive to repair and maintain.

In the case of an ADAS, windscreen that costs 2.5k to replace, there will come a time when a vehicle could be written off for a minor defect. Simply because it was too expensive to repair based on the vehicles current value.

How many times have you seen a vehicle that had a clunky inbuilt dash screen equipped with Sat Nav. Worse still, the dealer wants to charge several hundred dollars every time it requires a system update.

Finally, Australia’s hot climate puts everything to to the test over time. Imagine placing your IPhone on your cars dashboard for 5 or more years exposed to the sun. What do you think the condition would look like? Over time many ADAS cameras will fail due to harsh Australian conditions and may be expensive to replace. Something you should consider.

Summery

In summary my advice would be only purchase a vehicle equipped with ADAS Windscreen sensors if you have the capital to maintain it.

Don’t fall victim to your insurance group installing a generic glass without your knowledge. Check your PDS and if you are entitled to genuine parts and choice of repairer then execute the privileged. It’s not free, it’s what you have paid for.

Check the original windscreen standards mark and take photo. If the replacement windscreen does not match and you are entitled to genuine parts demand an explanation. It’s an illegal practice to not have full disclosure from your insurance group.

Generic parts are not bad and are improving all the time. However, you should always be aware of the choices you have and the costs involved. From here you can make an informed choice.

Service 8® Auto Glass Tweed Heads are experts in ADAS windscreen replacement. We offer unbiased insurance advice and source our windscreen parts from several suppliers based on quality. We can help you with your insurance claims, so call us today obligation free.

3 thoughts on “ADAS Windscreen – 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

    • The post I made was for the most part about the practice of using generic parts that may void the dealers ADAS warranty without informing the customer, and from my personal inquirers this is true.

      True there are many auto glass shops installing generic glass and using generic calibration tools on vehicles, including us. However, this does not mean it preserves the manufacturer’s warranty. It is now the responsibility of the auto glass shop to warrant the part.

      There is nothing wrong with having your iPhone repaired at a Shopping Mall, however, you should understand Apple will void your warranty if you do so. This is standard procedure with any item you purchase.

      In addition, I disagree with your statement regarding Anti Lock Braking Systems. ADAS is not at all like ABS or Airbag Systems. ADAS is a “driving assistant”. The owners manual states clearly that no liability is taken in regards to a collision by the manufacture. In other words, it’s 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. In addition, with 27+ years of experience as an Auto Glass Technician I believe I have sufficient credentials to raise the points.

      Personally I don’t take motor advocacy groups very seriously since they can often have conflicting views depending which sponsors they have relationships with. These groups are far from independent and often their views are influenced by money/funding by the hand that feeds them.

      In any event, since you leave no name, experience or credentials it’s difficult to consider your viewpoint. If you had some personal experience with these systems it would be better to share this information rather than the mainstream marketing of these systems.

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