Windscreen safety issue ‘in up to 89,000 cars’

Up to 89,000 vehicles on Irish roads could have serious safety issues as a result of being fitted with faulty replacement windscreens.

The general manager of Autoglass Ireland, Heiner Herz, expressed concern yesterday to the Oireachtas transport committee about the lack of regulation governing the vehicle glass repair and replacement sector.

He said research commissioned by Autoglass had examined 500 vehicles in Ireland which had been fitted with replacement windscreens.

Tests conducted by the UK-based Transport Research Laboratory had revealed that 14% of the cars had significant safety issues, while 35% had some quality or safety concern.

Mr Herz said motor insurers had a role in the issue as they “steered” clients towards particular service providers. He noted that some replacement services appeared to be cutting costs by using inferior materials and practices in order to win business.

The committee heard that there was no regulation governing the sector.

Autoglass head of technical research, Chris Davies, said having a correctly fitted replacement windscreen was very important in case of the deployment of airbags and the event of a vehicle rolling over.

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