OEM and Aftermarket Glass
When going for a windshield replacement the most important thing is the quality of windshield. Some of us think that all windshields are the same and adopt an inferior one to save some money. The quality of the windshield can prove to be a question of life and death in the case of a mishap.
It is noteworthy that car manufacturers don’t manufacture these windshields. They only procure these from automotive glass manufacturers like Saint-Gobain, Pilkington, AGC Automotive, Guardian, Ashai as per strict specifications. So it becomes more important to understand which windshield is suitable for your car.
Always go for an OE glass, its a matter of safety for your family
As far as glass quality is concerned two types of glasses are generally available in the market. OEM Glass (Original Equipment Manufacturers), OES (Original Equipment Suppliers) and AGR ( Aftermarket Glass Replacement)
- OEM: These are the windshields supplied by Original Equipment Manufacturers as per the specification of car manufacturers. These include the Thickness of glass, Quality Standard, Colour, all Hardware, and Durability. These windshields are identical to the original windshield which was fitted to your car at the time of purchase. Though some times the windshield manufacturer as this work is subcontracted, the auto manufacturer continually accepts bids from different glassmakers. Often they will switch glass manufacturers when a lower bid is received, resulting in identical vehicles having glass that is technically manufactured by different companies.
- OES: OES windshields are identical to OEM windshields and are manufactured by the same manufacturers the only difference is the car brand logo. OES windshield doesn’t have any car brand logo as in OEM which are only supplied to car manufacturers and are available through Authorized Dealers.
- AGR: Aftermarket Replacement Glasses are manufactured by other manufacturers than OE suppliers. These need not have any contract with the car manufacturer. AGR windshields are not identical to OE parts due to copyright and IPR issues. These have the same shape and size but have a difference in Colour tint, Durability and others.
Like most things, the decision may come down to money. Insurance companies may only cover aftermarket glass because it is less expensive. This leaves the car owner to decide whether they want to pay extra for an OEM windshield. Many aftermarket windshields work out very well for the consumer, but those not willing to take a risk on slightly lower quality will often choose to invest in an OEM windshield.