Clarifies Testimony on OEM vs. Replacement Installations in 2003
Ultra Bond Suit
June 8, 2009
In recent months, testimony SIKA Corp. western sales manager Carl
Tompkins provided in a 2003 suit involving long-crack repair has
been circulated around the Internet and throughout the industry
and has been the topic of much discussion. Tompkins took the time
this week to clarify the testimony, which he says dealt with whether
OEM installations (completed in the factory) are always preferable
to aftermarket installations.
State Farm contacted me for an opinion, considering
my 30-plus years in the industry, concerning the subject of OEM
auto glass installations and aftermarket installations and whether
OEM auto glass installations can be consistently considered more
trustworthy than those completed in the aftermarket, Tompkins
says. My response was, no, which I substantiated
with a number of situations where OEM auto glass installations have
been found to have problems with proper glass retention. In summary,
while both the aftermarket and OEM glass installations have respectable
track records, both, too, have experienced their share of problems,
but neither can fairly be considered more reliable than the other.
In the 2003 testimony, Tompkins writes, Although there is
room for improvement, the incidence of injuries, or alleged injuries,
from improperly replaced windshields is extremely low. At a national
conference conducted in Minneapolis on May 25, a panel of experts
shared that in the last 20 years over 120 million windshields have
been replaced. Within this body of work only 9 known suits have
been filed referencing fault within the glass replacement; a percentage
of failure too small to measure.
Some industry representatives have questioned whether the above
statement contradicts some of the statements Tompkins has made at
various safety presentations regarding the prevalence of safe aftermarket
installations. However, Tompkins says the testimony is on a different
topicwhether OEM installations are always better than aftermarketand
that there is no other correlation between the two items.
Pertaining to the question of my opinion conflicting with
the message and intent of AGRSS, to be accurate in judgment, there
is no direct correlation, he says. My opinion to State
Farm focused strictly on the subject of comparing OEM installation
to after market installation, while my message concerning AGRSS
is that the only people having the right to conduct auto glass installations
are those who do it right.
He adds, I'm of the same opinion of [the OE manufacture]
of automobiles in that I hope that the paint and primer systems
function properly as part of the auto glass retention system and
that the robotic applicators remember to agitate the auto glass
primers properly during the auto glass installation process, etc.
For the life of me, I cannot think of anyone with a lick of common
sense that wouldn't agree with these two positions.
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