A Look Back At 2020’s Top Stories

Before the New Year kicks off, let’s review the top ten stories that created the most traffic on glassBYTEs.com™ throughout 2020.

  1. Safelite Announces Layoffs and Other Measures in Response to COVID-19 – published on 3/30/20

This year’s most read story involved the Safelite announcing several layoffs and company changes in March. The company’s president and CEO, Tom Feeney, noted that the changes were a response to the effects of COVID-19 on the auto glass industry. According to Feeney, the company experienced unprecedented change brought on by unimaginable circumstances.

2. Safelite Solutions Stops Contact Center Operations for SGC Network – published on 3/26/20

In March, Safelite Solutions announced that it will cease contact center operations for SGC Network Shop Care and transition service needs to its digital channels, due to decreased volume, according to the company’s announcement.

3. Geico Sends Notice On New Market Pricing – published on 5/4/20

May began with Geico sending out a notice regarding its new policy on glass market pricing for recalibrations, in the U.S. excluding Florida. The auto insurance’s new pricing policy became effective for glass shops in mid-May. Geico said the rate standards would not impact its current guidelines for collision repair shops.

4. Clarifying Essential Employees and Further Effects on Industry Businesses – published on 3/20/20

The end of March brought clarity to businesses after California announced the state, with the exception of “essential employees,” was on lockdown, many business such as auto glass companies, wanted to make sure that they fell into the essential category. Shortly after California’s announcement Pennsylvania’s Governor declared only “life-sustaining businesses” could stay open.

5. Windshield Class Action Lawsuit Continues – published on 2/19/20

In mid- February 15 new plaintiffs were added to a class action lawsuit that was originally filed by Christine Powell against Subaru. The suit alleges Subaru of America Inc. was “manufacturing, marketing and selling new vehicles with defective and dangerous windshields that were spontaneously and/or unreasonably cracking, chipping and otherwise breaking.” The plaintiffs were seeking a trial by jury, according to court documents.

  1. Drunk Driver Linked to Safelite Kills Person Crossing the Street in Harlem – published on 1/2/20

The year began with a drunk driver who struck and killed a pedestrian in East Harlem, according to police. “The fatal crash happened when 23-year-old Farkell Hopkins slammed his Safelite auto windshield repair truck into the man, who was crossing E. 125th Street near Madison Avenue mid-block, according to police,” said a New York Post article.

  1. Volkswagen Vehicle Owner Files Class Action Lawsuit for Alleged Defective Sunroof – published on 1/10/20

The beginning of January also saw Sokol Gjonbalaj become the lead plaintiff in a class action complaint, filed in New York, against Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. and Volkswagen AG. Gjonbalaj alleged the carmaker “knowingly used deceptive practices, to sell tens of thousands of class vehicles with sunroofs that have inherent design and manufacturing flaws.” Gjonbalaj sought a trial by jury along with financial compensation.

  1. Mygrant Glass Opens Four Locations – published on 4/7/20

In April four locations were added to Mygrant Glass. The company stated that the new locations brought it to a total of 84 operating locations nationwide.

  1. Ford Cautions Against the Use of Aftermarket Glass – published on 6/12/20

Ford Motor Company issued a statement in early June, outlining what it says is a need for OEM glass to be used in replacement on the company’s vehicles. The statement says that the “[w]indshield and side glass play an integral role in the performance and functionality” of some of the passenger safety features and “it is critical that the vehicle be restored to proper operating condition” when it comes to glass removal and replacement.

10. Tornado Impacts Carlex Auto Glass Plant – published on 3/5/20

In March the Nashville auto glass industry felt the impact of the tornado that swept through the city. The city was left with scattered debris, down power lines, in addition to several injuries and fatalities, according to local news outlets. Carlex was one of the many businesses that was impacted by the severe weather.

This article is from glassBYTEs™, the free e-newsletter that covers the latest auto glass industry news. Click HERE to sign up—there is no charge. Interested in a deeper dive? Free subscriptions to Auto Glass Repair and Replacement (AGRR) magazine in print or digital format are available. Subscribe at no charge HERE.

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