Volume 12, Issue 1 - January/February 2010

Repair Round-Up
on-the-job tips

NWRA on the Watch
By Mike Boyle

Since its inception, the National Windshield Repair Association (NWRA) has been at the forefront of watching out for industry regulations, changes and issues that might affect its members and the way they do business. And this year has been no different. From the impending California auto glass regulations to the ongoing saga of Z26, the NWRA and its staff remain vigilant in protecting the interests of repair companies. Here’s an update on some of our efforts.

Z26.1
It has been approximately two years since the Society of Automobile Engineers (SAE), a national automotive standards setting organization, began working on a new standard for automotive glazing through its SAE/ANSI Z26.1 Automotive Safety Glazing Committee. SAE’s revised standard, as drafted, would effectively require all windshield repairs—or “modifications” as they may be referred to in the proposed standard—to be catalogued on the surface of the windshield and likely by some means of etching. This cataloguing could negatively affect repair professionals, creating a liability concern for any person or company that works on laminated glass, continuing to hide unscrupulous providers while adding time and cost to the repair process.

In late 2008, it had been confirmed that SAE had adopted its revised Z26.1 standard and pushed it through to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for final approval, with the expectation that the standard would be published, as a revised ANSI Standard, in early 2009. NWRA mailed a vigorous letter-writing campaign to ANSI alerting the organization to the standard’s deficiency in both content and process. So far, ANSI has not released the standard for public comment. It’s a situation we continue to monitor daily.

The NWRA board of directors and support staff will continue to follow the progress of Z26.1 and will take every measure possible to secure the future of the windshield repair industry from any endeavor that may jeopardize the way members do business.


“From the impending California auto glass regulations to the
ongoing saga of Z26.1, the NWRA and its staff remain vigilant in
protecting the interests of repair companies.”



CARB
A little more than a year ago, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) had begun to investigate ways to make cars run more efficiently. It was part of the group’s effort to comply with AB 32, an initiative designed to decrease the state’s greenhouse gas initiatives. The board had originally focused on cars’ paint, in hopes that reflective paint might reduce the heat entering the vehicle. When they found that wouldn’t work, they turned to the glass.

Though the final draft of the regulation has not yet been finalized, CARB was calling for reduced solar transmission through the glass in an effort to reduce the load on the vehicle’s air conditioner. These regulations would affect any vehicles sold in the state, beginning in 2012.

The regulations specifically address the total solar transmittance (TST) required for the glass; CARB defines this figure as “the ratio of the transmitted solar flux to the incident solar flux, i.e., the ratio of the amount of solar energy that passes through the glazing (including energy absorbed and subsequently re-radiated to the interior) to the amount of solar energy falling on the glazing.”

Although it appears the impending CARB regulations will have the greatest initial impact on manufacturers and replacement shops, the regulations may have implications for repair technicians; depending on how often vehicle manufacturers opt to utilize the energy-efficient glass option in lieu of an alternative performance option.

The Future
The NWRA will continue to monitor these and other regulatory measures that may impact the windshield repair industry. n
wMike Boyle is the president of the NWRA. He also serves as president of Glass Mechanix in Bend, Ore. His opinions are solely his own and not necessarily those of this magazine. 

Mike Boyle is the president of the NWRA. He also serves as president of Glass Mechanix in Bend, Ore. His opinions are solely his own and not necessarily those of this magazine.

 

Please Join Us for the NWRA Annual Conference!
May 20-22, 2010
Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort and Spa
Please visit www.nwrassn.org or call 540/720-7484 for additional information.



AGRR
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