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.
Advertisement

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


Subscribe to Torque News on YouTube.


Follow Torque News on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.

Comments

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.
Three cracked windshields in less than 9 months and two in the last two weeks costing over $2500 each all $7500 it has to be manufacture defect
2021 Tesla Model 3, just a week old. Passenger side windshield cracked and not covered by Tesla's new vehicle insurance
I bought a 2021 Toyota Corolla on Feb 16, 2021. A week later the windshield cracked. I was driving and didn't hear a rock hit the windshield. I heard the windshield crack while driving on the interstate. It is a clean crack. Is there any known issues with this happening on Corollas?
I bought a ‘21 Corolla on March 12th 2021, 1 week later clean crack while driving 30 mph.... replaced, exactly 10 minutes later, tiny rock hit it chipped while driving 15 mph, replaced...6 days later cracked after driving on the highway... this will be my 3rd windshield in a little over a month of owning this vehicle.
I bought a new Toyota Corolla Hybrid on Sep 18, 2020. On May 1, 2021 I was driving down the road (<3200 miles on the car) and heard a click. I then noticed a 18" long crack from the inspection sticker to the middle of the driver and it has since grown to over a yard. The glass is very expensive to replace due to the high tech camera and calibration needed. I'm real glad the finance guy convinced me to buy the windshield insurance for $1,200 for 96 months. The bad news is that they told me the glass was backordered until June 15th. Then they said June 25th. Now they say July 1st.
I have a 2021 Corolla brought end of Jan. 2021. I think I am a magnet for rocks. Since around mothers day 2021 i have had 2 windshield replacement and 1 repair. I had a replacement on Monday and now its Wednesday and coming to work this morning I heard that dreaded sound. now i have a small star. Getting that repaired friday. Hoping it doesn't spread before then.
I have a 2020 Toyota Corolla that I purchased 13 months ago. Today I was driving and it just cracked from the edge across the center. No rocks hit it. This also happened on my prior two Corollas. I think its a manufacturing defect that places too much pressure or not enough strength in the “A” pillars of the vehicle.
Went through two windshields and a total of three cracks on my 2018 Corolla in just three years… traded it in for a 2021 RAV4 I have it 2.5 months and today I get a crack in the windsheild! They must use cheap materials.
Bought a brand new Hyundai Palisade. 1 week later a small rock hit windshield and it made a sunburst size crack. I had to replace it. 3 weeks later the same thing happened on the interstate!!! Bad luck or defect????
Six month old Hyundai Venue. A pebble hit on the highway, loud enough to notice but the kind you've heard a few times a year in your driving life. Smallest scratch, no bullseye. Now an 11" crack in being repaired as we speak. As I was typing this I got a phone call from the glass guy ...the FLIMSY PLASTIC around the edge may crack ...he hopes not but just giving me a heads up that the dealer is the only place to get it if it does happen. First and last Hyundai for me.
Multiple huge 12" cracks in my 5 month old Tesla S panoramic roof. I do not recall anything hitting it and didn't realize they were there until yesterday when I had passengers in the back seat. I'd guess defect
Joan, thank you very much for your comment! It just so happens that we are working on a story about glass roofs and how they may not be as sturdy as need be (among all manufacturers). Would you consider contacting us via the "Contact /Submit a Tip" tab at the bottom of the page? We will then reach out and provide you an e-mail where you can send the photo for us to use in the story. We will give you credit. Note: This story will not focus on Tesla to single the brand out in a negative way. We'll let you proofread the story before we publish it so you are sure you like it. Thanks
2021 Toyota Highlander Love the car, but 2 rock chips in 2 weeks, literally. Car is now parked awaiting Satellite. I don't want the spider legs to spread.
Toyota Tacoma. 2018. TWO windshield replacements so far. June 17, 2020, then, April 13, 2021. The second windshield lasted 6 days before it had a spider chip. . Safelite "repaired" the brand new windshield. This is hopeless. Something needs to be done to protect owners from this ridiculous, unsafe, frustration, and expense.
Six month old 2021 Toyota Corolla got a small chip, no apparent road damage or impact and developed a 12 inch crack. Called Toyota to complain this is a safety defect. Taking it down today; My husband who is an engineer and his father worked in the Safety Glass industry states its stress related and a defect,
I have 2021 Toyota Tacoma Trd sport brand new I had it for 6 months and my windshield is crack and chip Toyota company are responsible for cheap windshield recalls
Just bought a 2021 Toyota Highlander Platin. Now 6 Month later we already had 3 chips in our windshield, last one is beyond repair means replacement, which is never the same. We had 3 cars in the last 20 years only two reparable chips. I STRONGLY BELIVE THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH THE GLASS
Did you receive the comment I just wrote? Everything seem to be submitting and then all I saw was a blank Comments field.
Bought a 2021 Toyota Venza. Went home with no incidents of anything hitting windshield. That same evening I got in car and there was a large crack from upper right hand corner to middle of windlshield. No incident of anything hitting it. Had the glass repair man look at it - He said it was a stress fracture and a windshield defect. He said to look up other people reporting because they are hiding this fact. He said take it back to dealer and have their glass expert look at it.
Tesla model Y just turned 1 year old. Walked in garage this morning and there was a crack running from driver side wiper hole to the center about 1/3 of the way up. No chip no impact of anything just a crack. Definitely a defect.
2021 Toyota Venza- 3 windshield replacements in the 1st 12 months. Either defective glass or pitch design flaw. This is a problem and requires a fix
Took our 2021 less than 2 mo old Mazda CX-9 on a trip West. Max 80 degrees and went to touchless car wash to get the dust off. Cracked from top middle near rearview mirror component down to driver side bottom! Nothing touched it and it was not a hot day! I have pics and a video taken I. The car wash right after it happened.