Little Still Known about Windshield Etching Requirement, According to NWRA President

National Windshield Repair Association (NWRA) president Paul Syfko took the time out to update glassBYTEs.comô on the possibility of a windshield etching requirement for modifications in the updated draft of the ANSI Z26.1 standard for automotive glazing under review by the Society of Automotive Engineers' (SAE) safety glazing committee. (CLICK HERE for related story.) Syfko also serves as president of Glass Medic America in Westergate, Ohio.

The NWRA believes that, if the standard is passed as drafted, a record of both repairs and replacements and who did them would need to be recorded on the glass. This would be accomplished by etching a trademark directly onto the glass surface and would provide information about the type of modification and the person or company who modified the glass, according to the previous alert from the NWRA.

Syfko notes that since the standard could affect NWRA members significantly, "We are actively trying to engage the SAE into a dialogue that will allow us a seat at the table. Any repair standard that does not include the repair industry in deliberations prior to its creation has no merit or weight. There are questions to be answered. Why do we need to trademark the repair? Have there been recorded incidents where the originator of a repair needs to be identified? Are these incidents on the rise? Why would you need to know the information of a repair technician?"

He adds that most standards develop from a need-but the association has yet to see the need for this one.

"This standard is asking us to do something that has never been needed," Syfko says. "Standards exist to create proper universally accepted procedures within an industry to fulfill specific needs. From what we know, this draft standard is not universally accepted or needed."

And are repair companies as concerned as the NWRA leadership about this possibility?

"The NWRA membership is either completely outraged at the idea or patiently waiting to see the proposed standard," Syfko says. "Remember, our business is to mitigate auto glass damages as much as possible. When repair is appropriate, we provide a cost-effective alternative to replacement. Our members spend decades perfecting their craft to completely restore the luster and structural effectiveness of the automobile windshield. To create a rule that forces us to put an 'x' by a repair defeats the cosmetic purpose of windshield repair."

The NWRA has a seminar about the possible windshield-etching requirement planned for its annual conference, which will be held November 1 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.

"We plan to tell members what we know," he says. "If this standard is submitted as we understand it, it could destroy our industry. We look forward to getting members' input as well."

CLICK HERE for more information on the conference.

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