Windscreen replacement guru?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Motoring
7 replies 7.5K views
tosh124tosh124 Forumite
8 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Motoring
Hi all,
We had our windscreen replaced a week ago via our insurance company (M&S, Auto windscreens), did a few local runs and are now 260 miles north in Scotland.
Sadly on the way up we caught another stone chip, approx the size of 3 pin heads about 4" from the bottom, which has turned into a 10" crack and is working its way up the screen, even whilst stood!
My view is that such a tiny chip should never have caused a crack, the last one was the size of 2*£1 coins and did nothing like this level of damage! I can only presume they fitted a cheap and nasty replacement (according to their site they manufacture their own!!), hence the damage.
I dare not drive the car as it is getting worse just standing there, and as we are due back at work on Monday am trying to get it dealt with so we can travel home.
Auto windscreens say they cannot send anyone out this week to even start the complaints procedure as they don't have enough people, which means we cannot get home and will lose a days salary not to mention the stress of not turning up, is there anything we can do aside from trying to go up the chain? Bearing in mind its a call centre who will not allow it escalate!

I thought my contract was with my insurer, they won't deal with it and have passed me to the under writer, can they do this?

I have asked for a genuine VW replacement screen as I do not want a re-occurrence, can this be blocked?

I do not see why I should have to pay the excess again and have this logged as a claim against me (it has to be logged as a claim in order to progress the complaint). Is there any way around it?



  • dacouchdacouch Forumite
    21.6K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Stone Chips can and do become cracks which is why a large amount of Insurers encourage you to have chips repaired asap and waive the policy excess if you have a chip repaired as it reduces the chances of a chip becoming a crack.
  • withabixwithabix Forumite
    9.5K Posts
    I don't understand why you can't get home.

    Are Auto Windscreens saying they can't replace your windscreen until next week?

    If so, contact your insurer again and tell them.

    Do you have AA/RAC/etc recovery memebership? That should get you and your car home.
    British Ex-pat in British Columbia!
  • tosh124tosh124 Forumite
    8 Posts
    It did occur to me after I wrote out the post that I could use the RAC to get home if it gets any worse.
    I have been trying to deal with the insurer, but they have just passed me back to the underwriter, which i think is wrong as they took my cash, not the underwriter. Law of contract?
    The stone chip is a tiny little thing, you really have to look hard to see, and yet it has cracked. In 25yrs of motoring I have never had such a small chip cause so much damage, which just smacks to me of cost cutting and producing something that is as cheap and nasty as they can make it, and in my view not fit for purpose, but Auto windscreens refuse to do anything about it as they claim that it is another chip even tho it is only the size of 3 pin heads <grr>
  • HammymanHammyman
    9.9K Posts
    Just drive the thing. I've driven many vehicles with cracks going either the full width or height. Its a laminated screen so its not going to shatter and it could even just be the outer layer that has a crack.

    Just as an aside, the smaller the impact point, the more damage it can do. It could have been a big stone with a point on it. Car thieves use center punches to break door glass because you can pop it straight away with little effort whereas you can bang your fist on it for ages.
  • conscons Forumite
    124 Posts
    dependant on your insurance company they will allow the company to fit a OEM part ( i.e straight from VW ) but its depedant on cost, Autowindscreens may only be allowed to charge say max £400

    if the OEM costs AW say £250 + vat then labour on top they can and probably will ask you to pay the balance over this magic amount.

    Another think with OEM screen is that they may not be avail for 1-2-3 weeks, on the other hand AW make there own and can be avail in couple days

    Your windscreen is safe to even when cracked, its bonded to the vehicle and its laminated so it wont fall in on you. Cracks may travel but will stop when they hit end of the screen.

    Unfortunately i think you are going to have to pay another excess


  • tosh124tosh124 Forumite
    8 Posts
    Hi all,
    thanks for your replies. It is good to know that it is still safe to drive, I was concerned that 300miles to get home would cause a problem and leave me stranded in the Highlands!
    I take your point, but the stone was that small I didnt see it and hardly made sound on impact so I think the windscreen shouldn't have as much damage as it has.

    TBH whilst I wouldn't be impressed with another excess payment at the moment my main concern is to get it sorted, and I have to say OEM is most definitely my preference.

    Thanks again everyone
  • lambo28lambo28 Forumite
    191 Posts
    Hi there, when I had my windscreen replaced a few months back I kept on pushing for OEM glass,even though they say that pattern glass is the same quality. At the end persistence paid and the insurance company allowed me to use OEM glass, supposedly it costs £400 for the glass (it was a Renault Clio windscreen).
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