Windshield chip image by John Goreham
John Goreham's picture

Every New Vehicle Owner Convinced Their Model Has Defective Windshield and Roof Glass

Do you own a Tesla, Honda, Subaru, Toyota, Mercedes, General Motors, or any other brand vehicle? Your fellow owners are convinced that the glass is soft, stressed, or defective.

You just brought home your new vehicle. It's perfect in every conceivable way. However, within just days of owning it, the windshield is cracked, chipped, or another defect related to the glass presents itself. Obviously, the car is defective, and your warranty will pay for the repairs. Guess again.

In addition to being an associate editor here at Torque News, I spend a lot of time helping to manage vehicle forums both as paid work and also as a hobby. I'm that person behind the scenes who vets and approves your membership request, approves your post, and kicks out that troll who is being a troublemaker at the club. I've founded and act as an administrator for over a dozen popular Facebook groups and clubs. I also help out in some monetized forums as well. One thing I learned early on is that new owners bummed out about windshield and glass damage is a meaningful percentage of the posts.

Is Your Windshield Defective?
As far as we know, there is no relationship between a chip occurring and the age of a windshield. However, the likelihood that a new vehicle owner will throw up a post about damaged glass sure is. One we saw this afternoon was the inspiration for this story. It read, "Anybody notice that the glass is soft on the car? I got 2 small chips in the past 2 weeks." So I searched inside a number of groups in which I participate to see if the keywords "Windshield, chip, crack" result in a lot of activity. It's not just a lot, it's an avalanche of posts. Here is a quick rundown on some we found that seem to apply:
- My Model 3 is going in next week to replace a cracked windshield. $1,300.
- Our Honda Clarity had a tiny tiny chip near the top of the windshield in front of the driver, which has extended into a crack to the edge. I don't recall any kind of impact.
- Anyone else notice their Prius windshield is a chip magnet? I have 2 obvious chip already after 18 months.
- My 124 Spider's windshield just cracked! Safelite says just the parts are $1600 for the molding and brackets.
- I was parked and my Colorado ZR2's windshield crack right in my face... no rocks smashed my windshield.

Related Story: Subaru Cracked Windshield Lawsuit Update - Warranty Claims Are Dismissed

Will Car Insurance Pay For Glass Repair?
The good news for many vehicle owners is that glass repair or replacement is a no-deductible insurance claim in some states such as Massachusetts. The option to repair or replace may be up to you.

How Many Brands Have Class Action Lawsuits Related to Windshields And Glass Roofs?
In addition to the Subaru lawsuits related to windshields, Toyota has also been sued. And also Hyundai has been sued over windshield defects in the new Palisade. Tesla's new Model Y crossover is only months old and it has already been recalled over its glass roof. Mercedes has also been sued over glass roofs. And Honda was also sued over this same issue.

If you have had trouble with the glass windshield or glass roof in a new vehicle, tell us about the problem in the comments below. Do you think it was bad luck or a defect?

John Goreham is a long-time New England Motor Press Association member and recovering engineer. Following his engineering program, John also completed a marketing program at Northeastern University and worked with automotive component manufacturers. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American newspapers and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on Twitter, and view his credentials at Linkedin

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2019 Lexus NX 300, F sport, tiny rock(really tiny) cracked windshield will driving @ 55 miles in Puerto Rico. Cost to replaced $1,500. Of course, the glass is too weak. I also have 2008 Toyota 4runner it has been hit by much bigger stones, many times, not a single chip.
2021 Tesla Model 3, just a week old. Passenger side windshield cracked and not covered by Tesla's new vehicle insurance