Accident Raises Questions Regarding Repair Techniques
What was supposed to be an everyday windshield-repair job instead made headlines recently when the car being repaired caught fire—along with the car next to it.
Firefighters in Redding, Calif., were dispatched around noon on March 27 to a bank parking lot after a fire broke out during a rock-chip repair on the windshield of a Ford Fusion.
During the repair, a technician from Platinum Auto Glass used the open flame of a device similar to a barbecue lighter, along with a piece of metal to deflect the heat, according to fire officials. The technique didn’t work, and the flame caught the car’s dashboard on fire.
The Ford Fusion was engulfed in flames that spread to a parked Subaru Outback next to it. No one was injured in the fire, but both cars were totaled, according to officials.
Fire officials did not elaborate on what type of heating device was used in the repair attempt, and at press time Platinum President Ted Arellano was not available for comment.
The accident raises questions about the repair technique, especially the use of an open flame.
An “open flame in a vehicle is never necessary for a windshield repair,” says David Casey, president of SuperGlass Windshield Repair. “It’s also a bad practice for safety.”
Casey explains that direct heat doesn’t cure the resin filling the crack. Rather, the heat warms the glass, causing it to expand. The “legs,” the subsurface cracks emanating from the break, swell shut and disappear—but only until the glass cools.
Applying direct heat is “a technique that people use when they have filled half a star leg and can’t fill the rest properly,” Casey says. “The result is an improper repair with resin that has been exposed to super extreme heat and ruining the cure.”
Worse for the customer, Casey says, is the cracks that had swelled shut when heated will return after the glass has cooled.
According to the Better Business Bureau website, Platinum Auto Glass has operated since 2007 and has an A-plus rating.
Skidmore Adds Fifth Novus Location
Skidmore Group has acquired Crown Glass Ltd., an auto, residential and commercial glass shop, located in the Kitsalano neighborhood of Vancouver, British Columbia (BC). This acquisition marks the company’s fifth Novus Glass location in BC, with the other locations servicing the Langley, Surrey and Coquitlam areas.
“This investment offers Novus Glass the opportunity to provide auto, residential and commercial glass services to the people in and around Vancouver,” says Anthony Breuker, regional manager of the Novus Glass branches in BC. “The acquisition adds to our capacity and geographic presence, allowing us to serve a greater number of people in a more efficient manner.”
Crown Glass is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Skidmore Group and will be re-branded as Novus Glass.