Sacramento Reporter Surprised by Issues Facing Auto Glass Industry
May 9, 2012
by Katie O'Mara, firstname.lastname@example.org
Reporter Kurtis Ming received a few complaints from listeners about the shoddy work being done by a local auto glass company. What Ming found when he dug deeper both surprised and concerned him.
“I was surprised to know anyone can be an installer,” says Ming, an investigative reporter at CBS13 in Sacramento. “In California, you must be registered with the state's Bureau of Automotive Repair. I could cut the state a check today, fill out a few forms and then someone could legally hire me to install a critical part of their car. I'm not sure a customer would ever realize that.”
When Ming began receiving complaints from the Better Business Bureau about the local auto glass company, Mike’s Mobile Glass, he decided to take the series of complaints into his own hands.
“I read all of the complaints and saw a pattern. We decided we wanted to see first-hand the type of work this company was doing,” says Ming. “I reached out to Deb Levy to see if she knew of anyone personally impacted from a faulty installation, which put us in touch with Jon Fransway. It's important to put a face to any important story. Unfortunately, it was the face of Jeanne Fransway who lost her life. We then worked with Deb to find experts who could review our tape and point out the concerns if any, they had with the installation. Bob Beranek drove nine hours roundtrip to our affiliate in Minneapolis to help analyze our video and share his expertise.”
Ming was stunned to find out that there are no records or agency that is keeping track of how vehicle deaths are the cause of a poorly installed windshield.
“I was also surprised to see state video that showed a windshield pop out four days after installation, just by slamming the door shut,” says Ming. “I was disappointed to know it's next to impossible to know the scope of the problem. We reached out to our first responders who say there is no special box to mark on their reports when it comes to whether the windshield came detached from the vehicle in an accident. I'd like to know how many people have died or been injured from faulty installations. I haven't learned of one agency in this country that can tell you.”
Ming does feel he has learned a lot from this investigation and will thoroughly research any company he hires to replace his own windshield. He advises his viewers to do the same.
“I'd ask questions of the installer. It's important to know how many years they've been at their craft,” says Ming. “I'd like to know what type of training they've had, if they've been certified and how recently. I'd also be eager to know what adhesive they use and the appropriate drying times. Perhaps they should show you the canister of glue so you can see for yourself. I'd check with the Better Business Bureau for complaints about a company you're thinking of hiring. An easy Google search can sometimes turn up interesting reviews. I would also caution all positive reviews are not always good either. Anyone can write anything online and some companies have taken advantage of anonymous posts by writing positive reviews about themselves. Word of mouth is always a good option. Ask your friends and family who they use.”
Most importantly, Ming admits he has learned a lesson from completing this report.
“I never did think of the safety of my windshield. I trusted the installer to be the expert,” says Ming. “We learned AGRSS certified installers can be found at safewindshields.org.”
This story is an original story by AGRR™ magazine/glassBYTEs.com™. Subscribe to AGRR™ Magazine.
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