Volume 33, Number 11, November 1998

USGAutoNews

State Farm Insurance Changes Its Repair Criteria: Long Crack Policy Stays the Same

After ten months of studying its glass repair criteria, State Farm Insurance Company has announced it will change its windshield repair criteria and increase the size of the area it deems acceptable for repair. State Farm will pay to repair stone breaks, bullseyes and rock chips up to 3-1/2 inches in diameter. "If the damage fits in the size of a credit card it may be repaired," said Miguel Urban, national glass supervisor for State Farm. The previous policy limited repairs to the size of a quarter.

According to Urban, many repair shops have lobbied State Farm to change and expand its criteria for a safe repair. However, State Farm said those requests did not result in the change. "Providing customer service to the policyholder is what prompted it," said Urban. "We believe there is a great benefit to the policyholder to repair instead of replace."

State Farm’s employees were notified of the change on October 20 and Urban said the company will now prepare to disseminate the information to repair shops through speaking engagements at trade shows and industry events, letters to shops and in industry publications.

State Farm also considered changing its long crack policy, but Urban said the six-inch policy will remain. In March 1998, the State Farm research department invited many of the major windshield repair companies to its headquarters in Bloomington, IL, to allow each to demonstrate its repair method. In April 1998, national glass manager Tony Ferrara said the research department would issue a report based on its findings. But, according to Urban, no report will be issued. "Our research found State Farm’s current long crack repair criteria to be satisfactory; therefore we will not change our standards," he said.

Second Texas Company Pleads Guilty to Price-Fixing

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, A-1 Auto Glass Inc. of Ft. Worth, TX, has pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to fix AGR prices.

The Department of Justice charged the company with conspiring to raise AGR prices by increasing installation labor rates and lowering discounts on automotive replacement glass. According to the Department of Justice, A-1 Auto Glass participated in the conspiracy from as early as February 1998 to at least April 1998.

In a statement to USGlass magazine, Roger McDonald, owner of A-1 Auto Glass, said, "The company engaged in illegal activity and pleaded to such. By doing so and cooperating with the Justice Department in their continuing investigation, we hope to put this matter behind us and continue to serve our customers with the quality products and services that we have in the past."

A-1 Glass is the second company in Texas to be charged with price fixing in as many months. In August, Crafton’s Glass of Lubbock, TX, pleaded guilty to price fixing charges. The charges against both Crafton’s and A-1 Auto Glass are a result of an ongoing Dallas grand jury’s investigation of suspected price fixing in the AGR industry.

Solutia Completes Study

Solutia Inc. of St. Louis, MO, has presented the results of a test it conducted to measure the performance of installed laminated intrusion-resistant glazing. According to Solutia, the tests indicate that PVB thickness and adhesion to glass are important variables in controlling the level of intrusion-resistance offered by laminated side glazings. The tests were conducted as part of a study to evaluate the performance of different PVB interlayer thicknesses and adhesions for penetration-resistance.

Auto Glass Subcommittee Completes Draft of Guideline

The Automotive Glass Subcommittee of the EDI Action Team completed development of its draft implementation guideline for the 272 EDI standard. The purpose of this standard, the Automobile Glass Loss Assignment, is to assign glass replacement or repair and to serve as a First Notice of Loss where mutually agreed. The draft guideline can be accessed and reviewed at www.cieca.com.

Sommer & Maca Offers Warranty Program

Sommer & Maca Industries of Cicero, IL, has introduced a national warranty program for auto glass retailers who purchase its POWR BOND™ urethane for auto glass. According to the company, the program allows POWR BOND customers servicing consumers outside their local service area to comply with the warranty requirements of State Farm Insurance’s Glass Central Offer & Acceptance agreement. If the sealant fails while the car owner is traveling outside the installer’s service area, Sommer & Maca will locate an auto glass service center in the customer’s current location.


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