The Massachusetts’ Joint Committee on Transportation held a hearing on Oct. 17 in Boston to receive industry comment on a bill creating auto glass replacement standards.
“The bill provides a road map for auto glass replacement safety,” said Peter Brown, president of Tiny & Sons in Pembroke, Mass.. He is also vice president of the Auto Glass Safety Council (AGSC).
Brown testified in the state capital in support of H 3295 and S 2276, legislation that would create state auto glass replacement standards which would be required to meet or exceed the Automotive Glass Replacement Safety Standard developed by the AGSC.
Brown was accompanied at the witness table by his state senator, bill sponsor and committee member, Sen. Susan Moran, who introduced a companion bill this year. Rep. Josh Cutler introduced the bill during the last legislative session.
The bill would require the Massachusetts Registrar of Motor Vehicles to develop auto glass safety regulations mandating products and services to meet or exceed original equipment manufacturer specifications, as well as glass that meets federal and American National Standards Institute specifications.
The bills define “aftermarket safety glass replacement” as motor vehicle safety glass replacement services conducted after original installation by a vehicle manufacturer.
AGSC chair Debra Levy also spoke in support of the bill.
Brown explained to the panel that windshields are an integral part of a vehicle’s safety system. He emphasized that Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) in newer model cars require the front facing camera in the windshield to be properly recalibrated by a certified technician to ensure that the vehicle is returned to the customer in working order.
House chair William M. Strauss asked whether the federal government preempts state action on this safety issue. Both Brown and Levy said the federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does not regulate the installation of aftermarket glass. They said it is up to states, like Maryland did in 2021, to act to prevent catastrophic injuries that could be caused by faulty windshield installations and non-working ADAS.
The Massachusetts legislature meets on a two-year basis and the current legislative session will continue into 2024.