Calibration Mandates Continue to Grow
By Seth Maiman
Change is a dance—sometimes it comes slowly, and other times it’s a fast frenzy; the auto glass services business is no different. And AGSC’s excitement about the news of Jeff Olive as its new director of quality and training (see page 40) was tempered by the social media post I shared with the AGSC board of directors recently. Our collective mouths were agape
at an auto glass Facebook group post asking a company why its sales personnel told customers there was no need to recalibrate as part of a windshield installation.
Nothing could be more dangerous for the customer or the company than believing recalibration is unnecessary. And nothing could be further from the truth.
As we are sure readers know, in 2022, the Automotive Glass Replacement Safety Standard (AGRSS Standard) was updated to address recalibration issues further. The revision resulted from a two-year effort by the AGSC AGRSS Standards Committee. The revision added language requiring equipment specifically purposed for calibration when recalibration of an ADAS is needed. It also requires completing the process using an OEM-approved or equivalent procedure. The revised standard now also requires technicians performing calibration to be fully qualified, including, at minimum, completing a training program with a final examination and continuing education.
The AGRSS Standard was already clear. Section 8.9 outlines how a calibration must be performed. If, for some reason, the required recalibration is not completed, the information must be communicated to the customer to ensure that the vehicle is taken to a shop that can perform the necessary calibration.
Elected officials have become alarmed at the prospect of ADAS-equipped vehicles returning to the road after a glass installation without the system recalibrated. They shudder at the prospect of cars sending their drivers into the path of other vehicles.
In May, Maryland became the third state to enact recalibration legislation for auto glass shops. The new law, effective on October 1, will require glass shops to inform customers, before repairing or replacing auto glass, if recalibration is required and to provide a written statement that the work will meet or exceed original equipment manufacturer specifications. Afterward, the glass shop must inform the customer if the recalibration
was not performed or was not completed successfully. The law will also require that the recalibration meets or exceeds the motor vehicle manufacturer’s specifications. The glass company may not charge for calibrations that were not performed or completed. Similar laws were enacted in Utah in 2011 and Arizona in 2012.
At a March Senate hearing on the bill, industry representatives testifying on the bill were asked by the panel of legislators if there was a “today” problem or a “future” problem. The answer was that the evidence was only anecdotal or “word of mouth” that there were still glass shops returning cars to unknowing vehicle owners that have not been calibrated correctly. That, however, was enough to scare the policymakers into taking immediate action and enacting legislation.
Even if laws are not in place, the legal duty of automobile repair shops, including glass shops, is to do the right thing. Case law holds that a shop is deemed to be more knowledgeable than the vehicle owner in how to return cars to the owners in a safe manner, whether or not the owner fully understands the working of their car. Asking a customer to sign a document waiving a necessary recalibration is not only unethical and dangerous, but could place the shop at legal peril. In “Little Known Facts About ADAS Calibration” posted on April 1, 2022 at vehicleservicepros.com, Emily Jackson, former director of ADAS at Launch Tech USA, explained the fallacy regarding a customer or waiver of calibration. “You don’t have the ability to sign off for any of the other occupants of that vehicle, or anyone else that drives the vehicle in the future. None of that absolves you of the responsibility for the subsequent owners.”
The time has more than come for everyone in the industry to fully recognize the responsibility that comes with the business. Vehicles, including their
ADAS, must be returned to the customers in full working condition.
Seth Maiman is the director of public affairs for the Auto Glass Safety Council.
To view the laid-in version of this article in our digital edition, CLICK HERE.