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Did you know automotive glass plays a critical role in the structural integrity of your vehicle? Or in the event of a rollover your windshield is what supports the roof and prevents it from crushing you? If your windshield is cracked or improperly installed it can quickly weaken or “pop out” when the passenger side airbag deploys during a collision, thus making the airbag unsafe and incapable of protecting the occupants. Today vehicle manufacturers are designing automobiles with more glass than ever. That’s why the importance of a safe installation and adhering to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards could save your life.

There are four Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) that apply to auto glass and to your safety.

1. FMVSS 205 “Glazing Materials” Refers to the manufacturing of auto glass. “Glazing materials” is the government’s way of saying auto glass. There is a specified manufacturing process that glass manufacturers must follow to meet test standards. For example, a metal ball dropped from a specified height cannot penetrate the windshield. This standard prevents objects from flying through your windshield while you are driving.

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The rust shown here is an example of improper primer application.

2. FMVSS 208 “Occupant Crash Protection” This standard specifies performance requirements for the protection of vehicle occupants. It encompasses all components of the vehicle designed to assist in safety, i.e. seats, seat belts and air bags. The operative word here is “air bags.” A passenger side air bag deploys off the windshield at 200 MPH. If a windshield is not properly installed or if the urethane has not cured completely, the deployment of the air bag can eject the windshield and the passenger can also be easily ejected.

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3. FMVSS 212 “Windshield Retention” FMVSS 212 focuses on retaining the windshield during a crash. The test consists of driving a vehicle at 30 MPH head on into a fixed barrier. The longitudinal centerline is simply defined by dividing the windshield in half, directly through the rear view mirror. Half the windshield is on the driver’s side and theThe windshield was all that kept this driver inside the car. other half is on the passenger’s side. With manual seatbelt retention of not less than 75% of the windshield perimeter is required to pass the test. With air bags retention of not less than 50% on either side of the vehicle’s longitudinal center line must remain intact in order to pass the test. This standard ensures that the automotive glass keeps you in the car in the event of a collision or rollover.

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4. FMVSS 216 “Roof Crush Resistance” The last standard focuses on preventing the roof from crushing you during a rollover. According to the FMVSS 216 standard, the “A” pillar cannot crush down more than 5 inches when 1.5 times the weight of the vehicle is applied to it. If properly installed the windshield keeps the roof from crushing in on you. If the windshield isn’t properly installed and “pops out” there is virtually nothing left but the “A” pillar to keep the roof from collapsing during a rollover.

These standards that we just covered are the government’s guidelines for protecting you. To ensure that your windshield will remain intact in a collision after the glass is replaced depends on if it was properly installed. In other words “Workmanship.” The quality of the installation and ultimately the safety of the vehicle occupants are directly related to the person who is installing the glass. At Harrs Auto Glass we offer a lifetime guarantee on our workmanship.