Volume 14, Issue 2 - March/April 2012

WGR Reports
repair news

Belron’s New Resin Creates Controversy at Home and News Abroad

Belron is continuing to roll out a new windshield repair resin throughout the world, with the latest addition being its United Kingdom-based brand, Autoglass, and the claims made in its U.S. affiliate company, Safelite, has caused it issues.

“It’s the same resin that Safelite [is] using in the United States and is now being rolled out across the United Kingdom,” says Samantha Day-Tillotson, public relations manager for Autoglass.

Belron had announced the launch of a “newly enhanced windscreen repair solution” last April, and in July Safelite, the company’s U.S. division, announced it had begun using the resin as well.

Autoglass is calling the resin HPX3, and company officials say it has “higher adhesion, better aging, low shrinkage and better color stability” than the company’s previous resin. They also say it can “last the lifetime of the vehicle.”

“...This new resin will provide real benefits for the motorist,” says Autoglass managing director Matthew Mycock.

Autoglass also will begin featuring the resin in its television ads, according to the company, as Safelite did in 2011.

However, not everybody’s happy with the quality of the resin. Surface Dynamix of Sisters, Ore., sent a letter to its customers in mid-February alleging that Safelite’s claims about its windshield repair resin are “misleading and deceptive.” The “failure to release specifics regarding the lab used and competitor products leave their results suspect,” the letter says.

“We sent the letter out to a variety of our customers and other people throughout the industry,” says Mike Boyle, chief brand officer for Surface Dynamix. “We sent it to people that we know are impacted by what Safelite does and it was sent as a way to keep our customers informed.”

The letter goes on to say that the “industry’s major suppliers’ resins meet or exceed the technical requirements” and that the claims by Safelite that their resin outperforms every other widely used resin in the market is too ambiguous and could lead consumers to believe that suppliers and providers are using inferior products.

“I’ve been investigating this issue for a long time. It seems like no one wants to recognize this 500-pound gorilla in the room,” says Boyle. “I can see that Safelite is a big factor in the success of independent auto glass shops. I have had a couple of windshields repaired by Safelite. I observed the whole process from claims to the end and there were things that the technician was telling me that I thought were questionable. He thought I was a consumer.”

“We believe that in order to satisfy the requirements concerning substantiation or exaggeration, the fundamentally important point is to compare products on a ‘like for like’ basis,” Safelite company officials say in a written statement provided to AGRR™ magazine/glassBYTEs.com™. “The independent testing confirms, using internationally accepted research methodologies, that on a ‘like for like’ basis, our resin will stay stronger for longer than other vehicle glass repair resins available in our market. Accordingly, we hold documentary evidence that proves our claims on an objective basis and does not exaggerate the results.”

Certification Exam from Auto Glass Safety Council
The National Windshield Repair Association (NWRA) has completed the purchase of the former National Glass Association (NGA) windshield repair certification exam from the Auto Glass Safety Council (AGSC, formerly the AGRSS Council Inc.)

“When the NWRA was presented with the opportunity to purchase the NGA’s existing windshield repair certification program we jumped at the opportunity,” says Kerry Wanstrath, president of the NWRA. “The NGA program was created by many of the same industry experts who created the ROLAGS™ Standard. Now, we will combine the knowledge of the two and have the most comprehensive program available. This certification program will separate the technicians who pass the programs test from those technicians who either choose not to get certified or have not yet acquired the needed knowledge. We hope to see the networks and insurance companies recognize the value in using the industry’s best windshield repair technicians. We believe the consumer does.”

Members of the NWRA Certification Committee will be working on integrating the NGA program with the NWRA program.


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