Lawsuit Against Safelite Raises Questions about Company's Guarantee
April 9, 2013

by Jenna Reed,

Auto glass professionals are questioning Safelite's stance that its "Advantage" guarantee covers work by Safelite AutoGlass and that Safelite Solutions, its claims management business, does not warranty the work it subcontracts to other glass shops.

The company's position became apparent when the Safelite's senior corporate counsel voiced hope Monday that the company would be voluntarily dismissed from a recent lawsuit in which a Montana woman reportedly lost both her husband and young daughter in a rollover crash, in which the windshield allegedly separated from the vehicle.

Attorney Brian DiMasi says Safelite AutoGlass did not perform the windshield replacement. DiMasi says Safelite Solutions, the company's claims management business, processed the glass claim on behalf of another glass shop which completed the work. Due to this, he says that Safelite should be voluntarily dismissed from the complaint.

When asked how "The Safelite Advantage" warranty comes into play, Melina Metzger, the company's public relations manager, says, "Safelite's warranty is for Safelite AutoGlass. Safelite Solutions doesn't warranty other shops' work."

Kerry Soat, CEO of Fas-Break in Chandler, Ariz., responds, "This case sounds like Safelite should pay close attention to the phone scripts they give clients. Stating, 'We can't guarantee their work if the shop is not one of our preferred providers' may come back to haunt Safelite on cases like this one."

He goes on to question whether Safelite is legally responsible for the replacement installation billed through the company. Soat says this is a good question, "especially when they are leading the clients' to 'assume' they will with the phone scripts and glass inspections."

Meanwhile, another auto glass business owner who preferred not to be identified says he hopes more lawsuits will be filed to address this guarantee gray area in the industry.

Paul Gross, president and CEO of HSG/CodeBlue, also responded to the situation more from a safety perspective, adding "This is obviously a really unfortunate and tragic event. It illustrates how important safety is in our industry and more needs to be done to prevent occurrences like this, which is why HSG requires all of its ProGlass Alliance (PGA) members to be Auto Glass Safety Council Registered Members."

On the AGRR™ magazine forum more auto glass professionals are sharing their feedback and asking questions.

For instance, one auto glass professional with the handle "Sglass" asks, "How can they [Safelite] not be responsible for the warranty? If there is an issue, SGC [Safelite Glass Claims] steps in and if the customer doesn't want to or is talked out of going back to original installer. SGC steps in and does the warranty repair. Then they charge the original installer back all of the money they were paid. They are right in the middle of it all."

Another auto glass professional with the handle "countryboy" adds, "A customer called a friend of mine's glass shop that connected to SGC and SGC told the customer they could not warranty that glass shop's work because they were not in network. After a few minutes of going back and forth, he ended up with the job anyway, so what is up with that then if they don't warranty. What is meant by [that] statement?"

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This story is an original story by AGRR™ magazine/™. Subscribe to AGRR™ Magazine.
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