Plastic Windshield Being Installed in the Aftermarket; Legality in Question
A West Coast-based company is marketing plastic windshields for the after market on the Internet. Polyshields is selling units at polyshields.com.
According to the company's Web site, "PolyShields® are molded from space aged polycarbonate material made by G.E. (marketed under the brand name "Lexan")." The company's Nikki Scott said that it sells approximately 30 units a month, primarily in North America.
PolyShields are currently available for Jeep, Suzuki, and Land Cruiser and HiLux pickup Toyota vehicles. Sales are handled by the company's parent Roadless Gear. Roadless Gear is an Internet-based manufacturer and retailer of hard core off road parts and accessories, specializing in the import vehicle market--Suzuki, Toyota, etc.
While technically, in the after market a vehicle can be adapted to the customer's wish, as only OEM windshield and auto glass are regulated by the federal government, the use of a plastic windshield is not in compliance with Automotive Glass Replacement Safety Standards (AGRSS) which states that for replacement glass products must be used that meet the requirements of ANSI Z26.1 as required by Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 205, points out Bob Beranek, an industry consultant and training expert.
Russ Corsi, an industry consultant who has started his own company following retirement from PPG, also says that plastic windshields do not pass Z26.1 and are, thus, illegal for highway use.
Scott told glassBYTEs that before a consumer buys one of the units it is advised to check with the state department of transportation to be sure it is legal to use the polycarbonate windshield in the state.
There is also the question of polycarbonate adhering to urethane. "Polycarbonate used in aircraft applications is bolted in," Corsi explains. "I do believe that ballistics windshields (polycarbonate on the inside surface only) are typically glued in with a urethane-like product."
No reproduction, in print, electronic or any form without the expressed written permission of
Key Communications Inc. 540-720-5584.